So it’s still not even actually off-season, the Spurs lead the Heat 3-2, the draft is still 10 days out, and NBA franchises have yet to enter free agency but seem trigger-happy to let coaches go. Seriously, it’s like “oh hey George Karl and Lionel Collins – you got us a franchise high wins… Do you want the congratulatory used sofa or wood paneled TV?” It’s been a very tumultuous offseason front office wise.
Enter Jeff Teague, a player in a long line of big-ticket free agents, who figures to resign with the Hawks (but you just never know). Free agency negotiations start July 1st with signings starting the 10th, so there’s still some time. It looks most likely he’ll stay in ATL, where I think he’ll be a fantastic bargain on draft day. He really improved all facets of his game, and I think is ready to make the leap into becoming the face of the franchise with Josh Smith probably leaving town. Let’s look at his numbers from last year:
2012-13 Line: 14.6 Pts/2.3 Reb/7.2 Ast/1.5 Stl/0.4 Blk/5.5 FGM/1.1 3PTM/2.5 FTM
2012-13 %s: 45.1 FG%/35.9 3PT%/88.1 FT%
A solid season across the board from Teague, who saw huge improvements in virtually every statistic, despite playing a few less minutes a night. The jump from 4.9 Asts in 2012-13 to 7.2 last year while going from 2.0 to 2.9 TOs a game is a solid leap, pitting the ball in his hands more and more often. Every time I watched the Hawks – Teague was slashing, making plays on D, and took over at times.
Teague was huge in February and March, scoring 18.3 and 15.2 a game respectively, while knocking down 4.1 and 2.8 free throws a night, and shooting over 90% behind the stripe. In fact, Teague’s overall free throw shooting jumped 13 points from 2012-2013 to that 88.1% last year. I think he can continue that high percentage while topping 3 FTM a game in 2013-14. And all of those scoring numbers were not to the detriment to his assists, when he had a 9.3 ast/game rate in February when he really took off.
Another big improvement was Teague’s 3-point shooting which upped to 1.1 made a night at 35.9%. Yeah the percentage isn’t great, but he consistently made at least 1 a night every month of the season. He’s not much of a rebounder, but he scatters in a few blocks and I think can again improve in several categories. I have Teague at 33 right now on my way too early rankings, which is a solid place where I hope to get him in every league’s fourth round.
2013-14 Proj: 17.8 Pts/2.4 Rebs/8.1 Asts/1.7 Stls/0.4 Blks/6.6 FGM/1.4 3PTM/3.2 FTM