Germany’s Dennis Schroeder didn’t start playing basketball until he was 11, and he was considered a borderline NBA prospect until April.
Since an 18-point, six-assist performance against the U.S. junior national team at the Nike Hoop Summit, however, Schroeder has rocketed up the food chain.
NBA DraftJune 27, 5 p.m.
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Heading into the NBA Draft on June 27, Schroeder is one of the top point-guard prospects available.
Along with Louisville point guard Peyton Siva, Pitt center Steven Adams, Notre Dame forward Jack Cooley, North Carolina State forward Richard Howell and Miami forward Kenny Kadji, he worked out for the Utah Jazz on Friday.
"I think it went very well for me," said Schroeder, who doesn’t turn 20 until Sept. 15. "We practiced hard — [all] six guys. We gave everything on the floor."
Utah was the sixth team to audition Schroeder. The others were Houston, Milwaukee, Boston, Dallas and Philadelphia. All except Houston select between 11th and 16th in the first round.
Schroeder, who stands 6-foot-1 but weighs only 160 pounds, is scheduled to return home Saturday after a taxing schedule of travel and workouts.
Asked how he performed in Utah, vice president of player personnel Walt Perrin said, "I thought he fought through some things. He struggled a little bit early, but he finished strong.
"He’s been to quite a few workouts, and he’s been away from home for a long time. I’m sure he’s getting a little bit homesick and probably a little tired. But, again, he fought through things and had a pretty good workout."
Last season for Braunschweig of the German Basketball League, Schroeder averaged 11.9 points and 3.3 assists in 24.7 minutes.
"He’s got the ability to get into the paint — get to the basket," Perrin said. "He’s got good explosiveness off the dribble. … He’s got a lot of things he has to learn. But he’s got athletic skills."
In his workouts, Schroeder has noticed a difference between German League and NBA basketball — one he thinks will accelerate his growth as a player.
"In Europe, you play set plays all the time," he said. "In the NBA, you play transition. I think the NBA fits me better than Europe."
Along with Miami’s Shane Larkin, Schroeder is the most highly regarded point guard who has worked out for the Jazz so far. He knows Utah, without a point guard under contract for next season, could be the right place for him.
"It’s a great situation for point guards," Schroeder said. "... You can play right away, I think."
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