ESPN and Sports Illustrated both came out with their annual player rankings, and Dennis Schröder ranks in the top 100 in both.
Schröder checks in at #96 on ESPN’s list, which despite a career year in 2016-17 is five spots lower than last year’s preseason ranking.
Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated ranked Schröder much more favorably, putting him at #76 on their top 100.
Below is what the publications had to say about Schröder:
With the departure of Paul Millsap, Dennis Schroder is now the leader of a rebuilding Hawks franchise and a prime candidate for catchy yet empty box score stats in 2017-18. In 755 minutes he played without Millsap last season, Schroder averaged just under 22 points and eight assists per 36 minutes. Unfortunately for the Hawks, they were outscored by 7.5 points per 100 possessions during that time, a number that would have ranked dead last in the NBA.
Not every productive sub can assume starting duties without missing a beat. Schröder pulled it off, all while scoring more often and more efficiently than he did previously. His 2016-17 season was an achievement of scale—proof that Schröder was ready for a different level of responsibility and consideration. The Hawks had asked more of him by trading away Jeff Teague. Schröder, by most metrics, delivered.
It’s reasonable to wonder, however, just how much further Schöder (17.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 6.3 APG) can go within this sort of role. His credentials off the dribble speak for themselves; only Isaiah Thomas averaged more drives to the basket, per NBA.com, and yet Schöder still converted 50.4% of his shots off those drives. What’s off is his sense of timing. Schröder is a reasonably effective playmaker who tends to irk his teammates by when he chooses to pass and when he does not. Lobs are sometimes thrown a beat too late. Shooters who were open just a moment previously find themselves covered once Schöder finally decides to send the ball their way. Schöder just isn’t a natural playmaker. Passing is a part of his game born of expectation rather than instinct. Other players have forged fine careers playing that way, though it does curb Schröder’s ability to actually lift an offense with his play.