It’s no secret that that this is a transitional period for Atlanta.
Travis Schlenk steps in as the general manager of the Atlanta Hawks, replacing the reassigned Wesley Wilcox and Mike Budenholzer stepped down from his role as president to solely coach the team.
While it’s not quite a full-fledged youth movement, the young guns will certainly be featured.
Team success will take a backseat to individual player improvement so let’s look at one aspect of every Hawk’s game that they need to take to another level to have the franchise trending up by next summer.
Dennis Schröder: Be a leader
The speedy German has trekked a long path to arrive as de facto face of the franchise. A first round pick in 2013, he was buried on the bench as a rookie, but slowly became a more integral part of the team over the years. His minutes per game has risen every season, topping out at 31.5 in 2016-17, his first season as a starter.
Still, it hasn’t always been a smooth ascent. Dennis has been involved in a few on-court squabbles like a recent one with John Wall. In addition, he was arrested outside a hookah bar this offseason for his involvement in a fight. He has subsequently been disciplined for those actions.
Dennis has a flair for being flashy on and off the court, but on this youth-filled roster, he needs to be a cool-headed veteran and provide steady leadership. He’ll have plenty of rope to work through slumps on the court, unlike in season’s past, but after butting heads with Dwight Howard helping to lead to his unceremonious departure, Schröder will need to help others on the team break out of funks.