Draft profiles: Marquis Teague, 6'2, 185 lbs, PG, Kentucky

Draft profiles: Marquis Teague, 6'2, 185 lbs, PG, Kentucky

Teague's a very fast point guard coming out after his freshman year at Kentucky.  Considering the hype coming into a Kentucky that won the championship, he did merely okay for a loaded team.  While being their only ball-handler, Teague shows nice flashes of speed in the open court, but also limitations when his shot is not falling or he struggled to get to the rack.

Athletic Ability

Athletically, Teague is a speed demon.  He has great lateral quickness along with great straight-line speed.   He has a good vertical to go along with decent length/wing-span at the point guard position.  While he is not a super-freak athletic type like a Derrick Rose/Russell Westbrook, he is in the next tier like a Rajon Rondo or his brother, Jeff Teague.

Size

At 6’2 and 185, Teague has decent size in terms of height/length for a point guard.  185 is a little lean, but he's tough, has wiry strength, and should add some muscle as time goes on.

Off-Court Issues

There are no real issues off-the-court.  This not an issue per say, but an in-depth look at how he might react off-the-court in that he has switched his basketball commitment a couple of times.  A lot of high school basketball athletes do that frequently now-a-days, but it is something to look into in terms of will he stick with things when it gets tough.

Basketball IQ and want it factor

Teague is strong-willed and seems to want it.  He does not seem to be fazed when things get tough.  Things started off pretty rough at Kentucky with a high number of turnovers and fans calling for his benching despite being their only real option at point guard.  He settled in and made some big plays during the stretch of key games for the eventual Champions.   He does not seem to get fazed and is a very aggressive player.

As for basketball IQ, Teague leaves a lot to be desired.  He struggles in terms of making decisions when stopped at the point of attack.  He is very good in terms of setting up teammates in transition and very good at angling opponents when defending.  However, he struggles with court vision and making the right decision when in a half-court game.  With his ball handling and speed, he should be a threat in the pick-and-roll, but he struggles with making decisions if the defense stops his initial attack.   Without a great jumper yet, he was easier to stop in such plays.

Stating all this, Teague did show improvement as the season went along.   He started to slow his game down and learned to pass solidly off the dribble drive motion offense Calipari famously runs.   He started to show some improvement with his mid-range jumper and therefore saw an increase on flexibility of plays.  Overall, he is still very raw as a point guard in terms of understanding the game.  He is not raw such as a Tony Wroten or a Will Barton, but he still needs to fine-tune his game.

Skill

Marquis Teague's speed separates him from other point guards, and he can finish when he gets to the rack.  The two big question marks for his game will be whether he can improve his basketball IQ and develop a respectable jump shot.  If he can develop to average in each category, he will be a steal in this draft and a very good player for a long time.  If he cannot, he will be just a spark player off the bench.

Offensively, Teague can finish at the rim and as well as shoot a nice floater.  As the season progressed, he got better at finding his teammates for an open shot or dunk.   In the open court, Teague is very advanced with his great ball-handling and ability to blow by people.  He is able to get into the lane with his hesitation dribbles, step-backs, and slick ball-handling.  Also, as mentioned, while still inconsistent, he started to develop a little bit more of his jumper as the season progressed.  That is not to say that he was even average, but that it is improved.

Teague does have many concerns though offensively.  While showing some vast improvement, he still has a huge glaring hole in terms of understanding the game and shooting the ball well enough.  He is not built enough like a Derrick Rose to get by without improving in these areas.  

In the pick-and-roll, he still struggles finding the person to pass to. On a loaded Kentucky team, finding the right open player should not be a concern.  Throughout the whole year, teams sagged off even when he started to develop a shot.  Calipari is not well known as an offensive genius type coach, so that must be accounted for in deciding this.

Defensively, Teague’s skills should translate at the next level.  He has elite lateral quickness, a solid wingspan, toughness, and plays aggressively.  He knows where to angle his opponents and is rarely beaten off the dribble.  It is concerning though that he did not get even a steal per game on a loaded team and his physical attributes along with Player of the Year, Anthony Davis at the back-stop.  Steals aren't everything but with his physical tools he could have done better.

Overall

In time, Teague has the elite speed to make an impact at the next level.  Whether or not, he can develop a better understanding of the game and a better shot will determine if he is a spark plug off the bench or an eventual, fringe all-star type player.  The promising thing is that he showed some improvement in both areas as the season progressed.  Also, with such a talented roster at Kentucky, he was not able to consistently show his overall skill-set as he played team ball.

My concern is while he showed improvement in understanding the game, he is still very raw in terms of court vision and knowing when to pass/shoot.   I think he can progress some, but I very rarely see such raw players improve in terms of understanding of the game.   Which team drafts him needs to start off slow with Teague and let him develop as a slower pace.  If he develops, watch out.

How does he fit with the Bulls?

While the Bulls need talent and athletic ability at every position, I am not sure he is the right pick for Chicago over other talents.  It is most likely he will be picked in late teens or early 20s.   His game is pretty similar to his brother, Jeff Teague, but he is not as good of a shooter, is a slightly taller with a longer wing-span, more potential, and has better handles. 

I also feel he is much more raw coming into the NBA than his brother who came out as a sophomore.  Teague would be a nice backup for Rose, however he likely wouldn't get the time to develop in Chicago once Rose comes back and doesn't have a skillset that would fit well playing with Rose.  

He can make more of an impact on the game overall than say Doron Lamb, Andrew Nicholson, or Jeff Jenkins, however, will he make a winning impact and is he worth giving up an asset to get him?   If he slides, I would contemplate drafting him because he presents some nice long-range potential.

Still, Teague just does not fit the profile of what the Bulls need.  He would do better going to a fast-paced team such as the Suns, Nuggets, Kings, Warriors, or such.  Making smart choices is pivotal in playoff basketball.  Kentucky was able to win the Championship due to their overwhelming amount of talent.  While Teague was a big reason why, he also makes very inefficient choices and shows lack of understanding of where his teammates need to be.  

For the Bulls (at least in 2 years) to be serious contenders in the future, I would rather them draft someone else that makes playoff-winning decisions right away; even as a role player.  While I think Teague will play in this league and is a unique talent, I think he would be better off somewhere else that will let him develop and harness his role.   This is not to say he will not be a good player, but at this time, I feel the Bulls can pick a better fit.   If he is drafted, he should at least good be a good defender and speed demon.

Comments

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  • I agree with what you say. I think this guy has a load of potential, but I can see him being a big bust. For a team like the Bulls, I think he is to risky of a pick. He can make a lot of teams look foolish for passing on him, but I think he could do the same for the team that drafts him aswell. Are you doing a draft profile on Evan Fournier, Darius Miller, or Jae Crowder? If not I'd be interested in your brief opinion on them. I really like Crowder evan though I don't know if he's what the Bulls need

  • I will try to get to some of those, but don't know if I can get to all of them! I will try to give an opinion on all as the draft closes even if they are short.

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    What player at #29 is making NBA playoff-winning decisions right away? I'm sure there is someone, assuming a junior or senior, but I think you have to gut ridiculously lucky to get a player that's able and then trusted to make those kind of decisions as a rookie let alone a late 1st round rookie. I'm sure you'll have a big reveal as we get closer to the draft but can you drop a hint because I am curious as to whom you think can fill those shoes(esp. in the playoffs).

  • I hate the NBA

  • I don't think the player has to be a senior, but show a decent understanding of the game and unselfishness while being confident. I feel there are a few players out there at pick 29 if wanted.

  • The NBA Draft Combine is extremely limited as a resource, but historically when gurds have top numbers in court sprint speed and lane agility(or lateral quickness/recovery defensively) it mirrors successful players. Not a guarantee, but a good marker.

    Marcus Denmon had excellent court speed, lane agility, max vert., and hand size. When a guard is 3.17 court speed as SG and 10.70 lane agility defensively those numbers bode well. Plus a 37" max vert isn't bad either. Denmon could be a real value sleeper pick for someone wherever he goes in the second round. He shoots 90 from the line and in the 40's on threes with excellent volume. By all accounts a hard worker, good attitude guy as well.

  • Marcus Denmon is a very intriguing prospect for the 2nd. He might be a good-off-the bench player. One player I like that you might see soon is Jared Cunningham.

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