The at-times tumultuous tenure of Dennis Schroder with the Hawks is over.
In a move that has been all but certain for weeks, the Hawks parted ways with Schroder as part of a three-team trade with the Thunder and 76ers on Thursday, according to a person familiar with the situation. In addition to sending their starting point guard to the Thunder, the Hawks will send forward/center Mike Muscala to the 76ers.
The big name in the trade is Carmelo Anthony. The 10-time All-Star will come to the Hawks in the deal, but will never play here. The forward will be bought out and become a free agent. He reportedly will receive his entire $27.9 million owed in the final year of his expiring contract.
The Hawks will receive small forward Justin Anderson from the 76ers and a 2022 first-round pick from the Thunder. The pick is lottery protected (1-14) and will become two second-round picks if it doesn’t convey. The Thunder will receive small forward Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot from the 76ers.
The trade is not expected to be completed and made official for 7-10 days.
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In overview, the Hawks cleared the way for first-round pick Trae Young, got a first-round pick in return for Schroder and went from $30 to $45 million in salary-cap space next year.
This offseason, the Hawks turned $20 million in salary-cap space into a future first-round pick, a second-round pick and a second-round pick swap between this and the Jeremy Lin trade earlier this month.
The Hawks tried to trade Schroder for weeks, but couldn’t find a market for the former first-round draft pick. The need to trade Schroder became obvious when the Hawks obtained two other point guards – first selecting Young in the NBA Draft as the No. 5 overall pick and then trading for veteran Lin. General manager Travis Schlenk declined to comment on what the Lin acquisition meant for Schroder, but it was apparent all three point guards could not remain on the same roster.
Schroder, 24, faces possible felony charges for an assault arrest in September. He also said during a news conference in his native Germany that he would like to be traded, preferably to the Bucks or Pacers. He also was suspended several times over his five-year career with the Hawks for different violations, including not returning from an All-Star break trip to Germany after he forgot his visa.
Schroder has three years and $46.5 million remaining on a contract extension he signed at $15.5 million per season. He averaged 12.9 points and 4.8 assists in 352 career regular-season games with the Hawks, who selected him with the 17th overall pick in 2013. In the two seasons after he became the full-time starter, replacing the traded Jeff Teague, Schroder averaged 17.9 and 19.4 points, respectively.
Schroder posted a message to Atlanta fans on his Instagram account Thursday evening. He said “Thank for the five years Atlanta. I appreciate it.” After thanking several teammates, he added “Y’all made me better, a better person. Now I’ve to to move forward.”
Muscala was a fan favorite since he was selected in the second round in 2013, in the same draft as Schroder. Muscala picked up a $5 million player option this summer after signing a two-year deal last summer as a free agent. Muscala averaged 5.4 points and 3.8 rebounds in his 243 career regular-season games. He helped the Hawks as a stretch big and proved capable of making 3-point shots.
Anderson, 6-foot-6, was selected by the Mavericks with the 21st overall pick in the 2015 draft out of Virginia. He played two seasons with the Mavericks and the past two seasons with the 76ers. In 168 career regular-season games, he averaged 5.8 points and 2.8 rebounds.
Anderson is due $2.5 million next season and the Hawks will have a $3.6 million qualifying offer for 2019-20.
Anderson is reunited with Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce, who most recently was an assistant with the 76ers before his hire in Atlanta. Pierce was in charge of the 76ers defense and has been described as a high-energy, defensive stopper. Anderson missed time last season for surgery on shin splints, but returned for the 76ers’ playoff run and played well.
The Hawks have 14 roster spots before the trade, including 13 guaranteed contracts after waiving Jaylen Morris earlier in the day Thursday. The Hawks must waive Antonius Cleveland, who also has a non-guaranteed contract, in order to complete the trade. That move could come as early as Friday.