As we discussed in this space last month, the writing was on the wall for Jeff Teague in Atlanta heading into the summer. Now, the Hawks reportedly have agreed to trade the former All-Star guard in a three-team deal just ahead of Thursday’s annual draft.
Here is a recap of the deal first reported by The Vertical:
Atlanta Receives: No. 12 pick 2016 draft
Utah Receives: George Hill
Indiana Receives: Jeff Teague
While the former 2009 first-round pick was developed by the Hawks organization into an All-Star performer, the veteran has seemingly been on the outs since Dennis Schroder emerged as a viable rotation player.
Teague, 28, is entering his physical prime but has surprisingly witnessed his minutes steadily deteriorate since Schroder was drafted by the franchise in 2013.
Here are Teague’s regular season minutes per game:
2013-14: 32.2 (Schroder drafted)
Teague’s minutes decreasing over the years becomes even more pronounced come playoff time:
2013-14: 34.6 (Schroder drafted)
Schroder was the first player selected after Mike Budenholzer was hired as head coach. While Budenholzer didn’t make the actual selection (that distinction belongs to departed GM Danny Ferry), it is well known the coach was extremely high on guard throughout the draft process.
Couple that with Ferry’s unwillingness to lock Teague up to a long-term deal back in 2013 – if you remember, he signed an offer sheet with Milwaukee before the Hawks matched – and you had the perfect recipe for Atlanta eventually moving on from the Indiana product once Schroder was ready for prime time.
The Hawks have decided the time to hand the keys of the offense to Schroder is now instead of starting next season with Teague at the helm and heading to free agency in 2017.
For the Pacers, Teague is a player who has already demonstrated the ability to play at an All-Star level. The presence of Teague fits with team president Larry Bird’s vision of playing a faster paced game and creating more offense around All-Star forward Paul George.
With veteran Monta Ellis and Teague in the backcourt, the Pacers have two guards who are highly effective at getting into the lane and above-average scorers.
Utah continues their search at the point guard position for their young core. The team acquired Shelvin Mack at last year’s trade deadline from Atlanta and the former Butler University standout played well in a starting role. Hill will provide veteran stability, something the talent of a No. 12 overall pick might not be able to match for a team with playoff aspirations. The Jazz will also be boosted by the return of Dante Exum from injury next season, so Hill could potentially roll into a sixth man role or play alongside Exum at times.
More to come.
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