Dennis Schroder: 'I want to be a starting point guard'

Dennis Schroder averaged 15.3 points and 4.8 assists in the Hawks' series vs. the Cavaliers. Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

Jeff Teague views himself as a starter.

Dennis Schroder has bided his time and wants to be a starting point guard.

The Atlanta Hawks and Mike Budenholzer have an interesting dilemma this summer: They have two starting-caliber point guards and Budenholzer will have to decide if Schroder is ready to start.

“In the future, I want to be a starting point guard,” Schroder said at the Hawks’ last gathering on Monday in Atlanta. “Everybody knows it. But in the situation I was this year, I was fine with it. I played my minutes, and I just tried to get better. When the coaching staff and everybody decides I get the team [and start], I’m going to be ready for it.”

If Budenholzer decides to promote Schroder, do the Hawks opt to trade Teague in an effort to improve their roster in another area?

“We value both Jeff and Dennis,” Budenholzer said when asked if he is ready to hand the keys to the offense to Schroder. “They have both been incredibly good for us. Part of the reason we have had success is we have had two really good point guards.

“I am not ready to say anything other than how much we love them both. They are a big part of why we have been successful.”

In the Hawks’ final game of the season, Budenholzer rode the hot hand of Schroder down the stretch in Game 4 against the Cleveland Cavaliers while Teague sat the entire fourth quarter.

Schroder finished with 21 points, 13 coming in the fourth quarter. He even was the go-to option in the final minutes for the Hawks. It was his second outing of 20-plus points in the series. And he averaged 15.3 points and 4.8 assists in 20.3 minutes against Cleveland in the second round.

Teague averaged 11.5 points and 6.5 assists during the second-round sweep and finished the Hawks' last game with just five points in 22 minutes. During Game 3, Teague had 19 points and 14 assists with one turnover.

Teague averaged 16.5 points and 6.0 assists during the first round and was more consistent against Boston. But he also said that injuries to his ankles and knees hampered him this season, and he was looking forward to recovering during the offseason.

Teague, who said he won’t need surgery this summer, was asked about how he felt about the point-guard rotation and how he wants it to look in 2016-17.

“I don’t know,” Teague said. “That is up to the coaches or whoever runs the team.”

“I have always been a starter,” he added when asked about his preference to start. “I would love to be a starter.”

Teague will make $8 million in the final year of his deal next season. He was the subject of trade rumors at the deadline before the Hawks opted to keep its core intact.

If Teague or the Hawks seek a change this summer, there should be teams interested in a point guard who was an All-Star a year ago on an extremely affordable deal.

Schroder’s immediate plans for the summer is to “play [for the German] national team and see that we qualify for the European championship.”

He wants to improve on his leadership skills and ability to be a better closer as well.

“The important minutes are at the end of the game and that you close out games,” Schroder said. “I think for me it’s clear: In the future, I want to be a starting point.”

Schroder, who turns 23 in September, believes he has matured since joining the Hawks in 2013 and driving Budenholzer batty at times over the years.

“My first year, it was really hard,” Schroder said of how his relationship with Budenholzer has evolved. “He was hard on me. He didn’t even talk to me. But, I knew why he was doing it.

“My second year, I played very good. He gave my trust this year even more. He is a great coach. Our relationship is good. He’s one of the best coaches, I think. It’s a great relationship.”