Since being unleashed during April’s Nike Hoop Summit, German point guard Dennis Schröder has become one of the hottest prospects in the 2013 NBA Draft class. During that showcase, the 6’2″ guard showed off a plethora of skills on both sides of the ball that drew comparisions to Celtics’ All-Star Rajon Rondo. It’s probably safe to say that Schröder won’t reach Rondo’s level but the fact that he’s being compared to Rondo at all speaks well of Schröder.
When asked about the Rondo/Schröder comparisons, Utah Jazz VP director of player personnel Walt Perrin said the following,
“I think the only comparison with Rondo is body build — long arms, big hands. Rondo was not an offensive player except for getting to the basket; he couldn’t shoot the ball (when he came into the league). I think Dennis is a better shooter at the same stage, and there’s no comparison in terms of defense because Rondo is so much better defensively than Dennis.”
That’s an extremely fair assesment because of Schröder’s rangy 6’7″ wingspan — huge for a 6’2″ point guard. On defense, Schröder combines his lanky frame with great lateral quickness to inhibit opponents, showing the aggressiveness and defensive dedication that coaches look for out of young rookies. While unleashing chaos on the ball-handler, the young German uses his long and quick arms in the passing lanes to force turnovers as he did at the Nike Hoop Summit.
While his defense will tantalize and intrigue NBA scouts nationwide, it’s Schröder’s abilities as the leader in both the half-court and transition game that will propel him to next level. For somebody who will be 20 at the start of the 2013-14 season (birthday on September 15th), he already has the knack of working in the pick-and-roll both for the greater good of himself and the team. Team-wise, he does a good job with working the ball into a post player or penetrating and kicking it out to an open shooter. While he can help the four teammates surrounding him, Schröder’s main offensive strength right now is his improved perimeter game.
Unlike Rondo, Schröder has turned into a reliable perimeter threat everytime he has the ball in his hands. Especially in a pick-and-roll style offense, Schröder is patient and sly as he tries to out-manuever his defender for a quick pull-up jumper. His 40% percentage as the pick-and-roll ballhandler is superb and shows the type of skill level he can bring to a team. While he usually plays on the ball, Schröder is still more than able to work off it and set up for a catch-and-shoot jumper.
Schröder’s one main offensve flaw would be his resistance from working his way to the basket. He is a speedy open-court player but Schröder but has trouble when it comes to finishing at the rim because of his slight 165 pound frame. That should improve as he matures and grows as an athlete because of the untapped potential in his athleticism and wingspan.
Overall, Schröder is one of the more intriguing prospects in this year’s draft because he has potential to be an extremely valuable player. There are supposed issues with on-court attitude but that is kind of expected out of a teenager playing in a pro league. His defensive and pick-and-roll skills would fit right in with Larry Drew’s new system but one still has to be a little hesitant with a foreign player as young as Schröder.