The Atlanta Hawks rejected a substantial offer from the Philadelphia 76ers for 22-year-old point guard Dennis Schroder at the trade deadline, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia reportedly offered Nik Stauskas, Ish Smith and one of the team's three potential first-round picks in the 2016 NBA Draft, but it still wasn't enough to get Atlanta to bite.
Pompey also reports this will not be the end of Philadelphia's chase of Schroder, who will be a restricted free agent after the 2016-17 season. The Sixers are reportedly set to offer Schroder a max contract when he hits the market. Given the new TV money set to flush through the league over the next two offseasons, it would be a massive deal.
Atlanta also entertained trade offers for starting point guard Jeff Teague, but ultimately chose to hang on to both lead guards. What is Atlanta's long-term plan at the position? Is throwing that many assets (and that much money) at Schroder a good idea for Philadelphia? Let's examine this rumor.
Why Philly's interest in Schroder makes sense
The turning point of the 76ers' season happened when they acquired point guard Ish Smith from New Orleans. A team that had only one win before the trade has won seven games since, in large part because Smith added legitimate NBA talent to the Sixers' weakest position.
Smith is still only 27 years old, but he isn't a perfect long-term solution. Schroder combines Smith's speed with a better shooting stroke, superior defensive ability and a higher ceiling. It's easy to see why the 76ers want to use their cap space to find an intriguing young point guard in free agency after using so many of their lottery picks on big men in recent years.
Also: the Sixers didn't bring in Jerry Colangelo for his patience. It's no secret Philadelphia wants to expedite its rebuild, and Colangelo was hired to help Sam Hinkie do that. The Sixers don't want to be terrible forever and acquiring someone like Schroder would be a major step to get the team back in playoff contention.
If the Sixers were offering the draft pick originally owned by the Oklahoma City Thunder, the price also isn't all that high.
Why the Sixers' interest in Schroder doesn't make sense
The NBA salary cap is set to hit $108 million in the summer of 2017, and a max contract is worth 25 percent of the cap for players with 1-6 years of experience under the current CBA. If Schroder is really going to draw a max offer, that means the contract will start at $27 million. Schroder is a nice player, but that's an overwhelming salary for a point guard few people project as a superstar.
Philadelphia has had a lot of success with Smith for the price of a minimum contract. Would Schroder really be that much of an upgrade for the level of investment it will require to keep him?
From Atlanta's perspective, the clock is ticking on a decision at point guard. Teague was an All-Star last season, but the team spent a first-round pick on Schroder and developed him into a quality player. Now that Philadelphia's (alleged) desire to sign him to such a huge deal is public knowledge, the Hawks have to make a choice soon or risk losing Schroder for nothing.
Likelihood: 7 out of 10
Jerry Colangelo doesn't want the Sixers to be bad forever. Because of that, both the trade offer for Schroder and Philly's desire to sign him in 2017 pass the sniff test.
* * *
SB Nation Presents: NBA rookies imitate Kobe, LeBron and more stars
Be sure to subscribe to SB Nation's YouTube channel for highlight videos, features, analysis and more