Hawks assign first-round pick Schroder to D-League

General manager Danny Ferry and the Atlanta Hawks took the long-range approach to the 2013 NBA Draft, a fact driven home by the most recent announcement out of the team’s camp: rookie point guard Dennis Schroder was assigned to D-League affiliate Bakersfield Jam on Wednesday.

With Schroder in Bakersfield and fellow first-round pick Lucas Nogeira playing in Spain, the franchise’s ’13 draft class is now developing entirely outside the NBA. 

Since the return of veteran guard Lou Williams on Nov. 15, Schroder’s playing time had diminished in a backup role to starter Jeff Teague. 

In the 10 days since Williams’ return, the 6-foot-1 German product had not seen the court seven times, including the past three games against Dallas, Washington and San Antonio. Only in a 113-84 blowout loss to Houston did the rookie play double-digit minutes (27), logging five assists, four turnovers and two steals.

For the season, Schroder is averaging 3.7 points, 2.5 assists and 1.1 rebounds per game. 

The trip down to the D-League will certainly provide him more playing time to develop — he’s only 20 years old and a bit undersized by NBA standards at 168 pounds — than he would find in coach Mike Budenzholzer’s system in Atlanta at the moment. 

Last season, Ferry and the Hawks utilized a similar personell tactic with 2012 draftees John Jenkins and Mike Scott.

The Hawks’ backcourt depth will now consist of Teague, Jenkins, Williams, Shelvin MAck, Jared Cunningham and sharpshooter Kyle Korver.