Dennis Schroder has not had to make a doughnut delivery — yet.
The Hawks guard figures to assume to the rookie duties filled by John Jenkins and Mike Scott last season. Welcome to the NBA kid.
The 20-year-old Schroder is preparing to be the primary backup to point guard Jeff Teague this season. He is a year removed from being a teenager playing in his native Germany. It has been a rapid rise from international prospect to first-round draft pick to NBA player.
Schroder made his debut Monday when the Hawks opened their exhibition season against the Heat.
“Not really,” Schroder said when asked if he was nervous before his first game. “It was a preseason game, maybe (he’ll be nervous) in Dallas for the first (regular-season) game.”
Schroder played extensively in the Hawks’ two exhibition games as one of the first substitutes. He averaged 6.5 points, 4.5 assists, 4.0 turnovers and .5 steals in 23.5 minutes.
There has been good and bad.
Schroder shot 6-for-21 (.286) from the field, including 1-for-8 from 3-point range, in the two games. He was 3-of-14 against the Bobcats on Tuesday before he drove for the game-winning basket with 2.1 seconds remaining.
“There were a lot of positives — his energy defensively, picking up full court,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. “I think you can see he’ll be really productive guarding the ball and having an impact there.
“I think offensively, he did some good things, too. He got into the paint. We are encouraging him to be aggressive. We are encouraging him to work on finishing. Of course there are a few things we’ll show him on film that we want him to improve, but there were a lot of positives.”
Schroder returned to Germany for a short time after the Hawks took him 17th in the draft. He came back to the United States to play for the Hawks’ team in the Las Vegas Summer League. Schroder started all five games and finished second in the tournament with an average of 5.6 assists per game. He added 10.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals.
The Hawks’ two other draft picks, Lucas Nogueira and Mike Muscala, will continue their development by playing in Spain. Schroder showed enough to be signed to a contract that will pay him $1,348,200 next season.
Before training camp most of the Hawks players reported to play together in an open gym. Schroder said those early runs have helped him develop chemistry with the veteran players.
“We played four-on-four and five-on-five,” Schroder said. “I think with Al Horford and Paul Millsap, they know the game. They know what I’m thinking. The same with me. I know what they are thinking and where they want to get the ball. It took a while, but now we’ve got it. We need to keep improving.”
Schroder won’t be alone in adapting to a new country and a new brand of basketball. His sister, brother, niece and best friend have joined him. He recently used Twitter to show off a new tattoo — “Family Over Everything.”
Etc.: The Hawks did not make roster cuts Friday. They could continue to carry 20 players at least through Sunday’s exhibition against the Pelicans in Biloxi, Miss. … Guard John Jenkins (lower back spasms) remains day-to-day. … Forward/center Gustavo Ayon (right shoulder) was at practice wearing an ice pack. He said he was disappointed being injured only 3 minutes, 41 seconds into his Hawks career. “Not good,” Ayon said. “Right now there is inflammation. I will exercise and workout. Now the shoulder is weak.”