With the Bulls drafting at 29th, no pick was going to be overly impressive. Early trade talks from the beginning of the week had cooled, and the Bulls decided to use the 29th pick to draft point guard Marquis Teague from Kentucky. The Bulls were surprised that Teague was available at 29th. The Bulls did not work out Teague, who played only one year of college ball.
Teague is a 6'2" and 189lbs point guard. He averaged 10 points and 2.5 assists last season. He shot 41% from the field. The pick of Teague though has a bigger meaning. The Bulls as a organization do not agree with some analysts and myself that there window for contending for a championship has closed. They decided to keep Luol Deng and Joakim Noah. They will contend with the pieces they have. The Bulls still are lacking financial flexibility. With a plan to match offers for Omer Asik, the departures of Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver are almost certain. Also, it shows me that the veteran point guards that are available are too expensive for the Bulls. Either CJ Watson or John Lucas III will be gone. Lucas is looking for a multiyear payday while the team holds a $3.2 million dollar option on Watson. The Bulls could be inclined to keep CJ and have Teague back him up. Watson posses the ability to play both guard spots.
In his brief tenure, Coach Tom Thibodeau has shown that he likes to bring young players around slowly. If Teague is going to receive significant playing time, he will need to earn it. Teague needs to work on his shooting. His defense is suspect at best. He improved last year as the season went on, but needs to take significant steps. He's a decent ball handler, but will be competing at a new level. His frame is slender as well. The Bulls will try to add some bulk to his frame, and get him into the gym immediately. Teague could turn out to be a good fit for the Bulls. There were some combo guards the Bulls had worked out available at 29th. As a organization the Bulls must of felt that Teague was too good to pass up. The Bulls are still lacking shooting and guards to fill their roster.
I'll be interested to see how Gar Forman and John Paxson fill out their roster. My main concern is the Bulls lack of financial flexibility. Derrick Rose needs a second scoring option for when he returns from his ACL injury. Rip Hamilton is a question mark as he appears unable to remain healthy. Luol Deng will also miss 6-8 weeks to start the season after he has a wrist surgery that is inevitable. With no money to spend, the Bulls are going to have to be creative. I though t the Bulls should of went with a combo guard. I liked some of the options available in Kentucky's Doron Lamb, Memphis Will Barton, and UC Santa Barbara Orlando Johnson. The Bulls, however, did not agree. The Bulls may still explore adding a veteran point guard if they can find some to play for less money. Kirk Hinrich is a rumor, but he would have to take a significant pay cut. The only upside for Kirk would be he would be guaranteed a starting job and be back home. The Bulls will definitely need to add at the shooting guard position.
Marquis Teague's professional career starts now. Coach Tom Thibodeau is a difficult task master and will push the best out of Teague. I also expect Derrick to take Teague under his wing. Teague and Rose have a common connection in Coach John Calipari. Gar Forman has always said he likes taking kids from winning programs. Teague comes from a National Championship team and played in some big games. It will be interesting to see the direction that the Bulls go in 2012-2013.
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