Marquis Teague’s time in Chicago has come to an end, as the Bulls reportedly have agreed to a trade with the Nets that will send the 20-year-old Teague to Brooklyn in exchange for 22-year-old Toko Shengelia.
The trade won’t become official until Tuesday, and was first reported by Y! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski. Nets point guard Tyshawn Taylor will be sent to the Pelicans in the deal as well.
The Bulls must keep Teague active before then to have a minimum of 12 players suited up. Teague won’t play tonight or Monday against the Lakers before the trade is completed.
Drafted No. 29 in the 2012 NBA draft, Teague never panned out for a Bulls’ team that needed help at the point guard position after Derrick Rose suffered a torn ACL months before the Bulls selected Teague. After winning a national championship at Kentucky with Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Teague declared for the draft after just one season, something that may have contributed to his struggles.
“When you come into the league, as young as he is, that’s what you’re going to get,” Tom Thibodeau said. “I think he’s much further along today than he was when he was drafted. He’s done a good job overall.”
In 67 career games, Teague has averaged 2.1 points and 1.4 assists in 9.5 minutes per game. His best play in Chicago may have been in last year’s playoffs, when he scored four points and handed out three assists in a Game 7 win over the Nets in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
Even with Rose out all of last year and a majority of this season, Teague still found himself in a crowded backcourt. Nate Robinson, Kirk Hinrich, Mike James and DJ Augustin all helped fill in for Rose, which didn’t allow Teague much on-court time to improve. As Thibodeau pointed out, a teenager forced into a role of running an NBA offense can be a daunting one.
“You’re coming in from college, you have to learn the NBA game, you have to learn your system but you’re also responsible for the entire team, not just yourself. There’s the offensive component, there’s the defensive component, there’s the preparation. There’s a lot that goes into it so for a young guy coming in, you have to approach things the right way. I think each year I thought he played well in the playoffs last year, I thought he was very good in Summer League, and he’s a good kid.”
There was optimism that Teague was showing improvement this summer, when he averaged 18.3 points and 4.8 assists in four Summer League contests in Las Vegas. He made 44 percent of his shots and even hit 6-of-8 3-pointers.
He earned praise from his head coach, and his strong preseason numbers continued to show he was ready for an expanded role in his second season, which in turn would have allowed Hinrich more time at shooting guard alongside Rose.
Teague said confidence was the key to his success during the preseason, but it didn’t carry over. He played just 26 total minutes in the Bulls’ first 15 games, and didn’t prove worthy of minutes after the former MVP went down.
In 19 games this season Teague is shooting just 24 percent from the field and has 28 assists to 17 turnovers. On Dec. 3, Teague was assigned to the D-League but was brought back that same day when it was announced Mike James had suffered a knee injury. The Bulls signed DJ Augustin on Dec. 13, and two weeks later Chicago sent Teague to the D-League again, where he played (for the Iowa Energy) until Wednesday. In eight games Teague averaged a mediocre 12 points on 46 percent shooting and 4.8 assists.
“I think Marquis is a good player, he’s a good, young player,” Thibodeau said. “He’s had some good moments, he’s had some moments that, obviously, he could do better.”
Shengelia has played primarily in the Developmental League and is an unrestricted free agent next season.