With the 17th pick of the 2013 NBA draft, the Atlanta Hawks gave life to a franchise that’s been without a true star for decades.
Dennis Schröder, a 20-year-old guard from Germany, has shown flashes of brilliance overseas and in his short time in the US. He’s taken his game all over the world, playing on 18-U and 20-U German national squads as well as the World Select team at the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit.
Despite his stature—standing at 6’2” and weighing in at 165 pounds—this kid is set to become a dominant player in the guard-heavy NBA over the course of the next few seasons.
In his first season in ATL, the Hawks can expect a lot from the German-born prodigy.
If Andrew Wiggins is the next LeBron James, Dennis Schröder is the next Rajon Rondo.
The similarities between the European-born guard and the NBA’s 2012-13 assist leader are striking, even in appearance and the mannerisms in which they play.
In an interview at the Draft Combine, Schröder listed Rondo as his favorite NBA player to watch. He acknowledged that his game is similar to the Boston Celtics superstar, referencing their long arms, defensive ability and prowess in the pick-and-roll.
Jacob Eisenberg of Sheridan Hoops described how the comparison was received by his new teammates, specifically 14-year veteran Elton Brand.
“People were like, ‘This kid’s just like a young (Rajon) Rondo,’” Brand said. “And I was like, ‘Come on, guys. You can’t compare him to Rondo just because they both have long arms.’”
However, after two weeks of practicing with the now-20-year-old Dennis Schröder, Brand has been won over:
“I was wrong,” Brand admitted. “I can definitely see where those comparisons come from now. It’s uncanny.”