With Derrick Rose (knee) shelved up to 12 months and the uncertain futures of C.J. Watson and John Lucas III, the Chicago Bulls snatched a point guard in Thursday night’s NBA draft.
In a diligent move on a night filled with rampant talks around the league, the team selected Kentucky’s Marquis Teague with the 29th overall pick. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Teague averaged 9.8 points and 4.8 assists in his lone season at Kentucky – where he spent time under head coach John Calipari, Rose’s former coach at Memphis.
By all accounts, Teague is a stellar athlete, will provide speed and has a solid defensive foundation – traits that fit coach Tom Thibodeau’s mold – but the primary knock on the 19-year-old has been his jump shot. His brother, Jeff, is the Atlanta Hawks’ starting point guard and had a few terrific duels with Rose during the 2011 playoffs.
Teague will most likely plug into the Bulls’ rotation immediately, as the organization will soon have to decide whether to re-sign Watson and Lucas. While it would be hard to imagine the Bulls handing the keys over to Teague from the outset, Teague has a chance to impress coaches and teammates during summer league and training camp – a chance to take advantage of the cloudy future of the Bulls’ backcourt.
In addition to Watson and Lucas, the Bulls will mull over this summer whether to bring back Omer Asik, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer. Chicago holds team options on Watson, Korver and Brewer while Asik and Lucas are restricted and unrestricted free agents, respectively.
Bulls general manager Gar Forman has repeatedly stated over the past month that the organization’s offseason moves will be made with “the long-term in mind” – and the selection of Teague was indicative of that mindset.