Atlanta Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder indicated he plans on meeting with the Atlanta Hawks to discuss his future with the team, and the 24-year-old German has already envisioned two possible scenarios for his next move.
Schroder was addressing reporters at a press conference for the German Basketball Federation (DBB). He said he could envision playing with the Indiana Pacers or Milwaukee Bucks if his time in Atlanta is over, per international basketball reporter David Hein:
Although he didn't explicitly demand a trade, Schroder said he "cannot be second to last in the Eastern Conference" during the prime of his playing career, per Hein. After finishing fifth in the East in 2016-17, they slipped to last in 2017-18 after posting a 24-58 record.
But Schroder's trade value is unlikely to be very high. He's owed $46.5 million over the next three years, and he has yet to take significant steps in his overall development.
This past year was Schroder's opportunity to truly become a franchise cornerstone for the Hawks, who are in full-scale rebuild mode. Instead, he averaged 19.4 points and 6.2 assists and shot 29.0 percent from three-point range.
ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz also offered a telling anecdote when discussing Dwight Howard's departure from the Hawks during an episode of The Lowe Post with Zach Lowe. Arnovitz was relaying how Howard and Schroder experienced some friction in the locker room and that Hawks players had sided with Schroder (h/t Deadspin's Patrick Redford):
"As one person inside the locker room told me, 'Do you know how hard it is to make Dennis Schroder the good guy in an internecine warfare between players?' Do you know how hard it is to have a locker room pro-Dennis in terms of just mood and personality? And, you know, that lasted two or three good weeks and then Dwight was just kvetching about not getting the ball."
Lowe also wrote last October that Schroder "has long been a polarizing locker-room presence."
Especially if Schroder has his heart set on a move to the Pacers or Bucks, he's likely to be disappointed.
Darren Collison is under contract for a partially guaranteed $10 million next year in Indiana, and the Pacers might be hesitant to significantly disrupt a roster that really clicked this season.
Milwaukee, meanwhile, will have Eric Bledsoe penciled in as the starter for 2018-19 since he's owed $15 million before becoming a free agent. More importantly, acquiring a ball-dominant point guard who struggles to stretch the floor wouldn't be a good fit for a team with Giannis Antetokounmpo as its centerpiece.