NBA AM: Hawks Face Tough Decision On Teague
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The Atlanta Hawks are in the midst of change. The only player remaining under contract from the beginning of the team’s current streak of six consecutive playoff appearances is former All-Star center Al Horford.
Restricted free agent guard Jeff Teague has been a piece of the franchise’s latest success and has served as the team’s starting point guard the past two season. However, the emerging guard may be the next of the core to depart town for a different area code.
Teague signed a four-year offer sheet believed to be worth $32 million with the Milwaukee Bucks according to Charles Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
As part of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement the Hawks officially have three days to match the Bucks’ offer for Teague and keep him in Atlanta. Teague has been frustrated with the entire free agency process and believes the Hawks should have been more proactive in their talks in re-signing him to a new deal.
But it is important to note, restricted free agents traditionally have to wait until some of the bigger chips in the market begin to fall in place as team’s don’t want to tie up their cap space to a player whose current team can match the offer.
Bucks head coach Larry Drew served in the same capacity for Atlanta the past three seasons and was a big part of Teague’s emergence on the league scene. Drew appears to be luring guys he can trust to Milwaukee as he gets his footing in a new environment. The club also recently agreed to terms with Pachulia on a three-year deal and Nick Van Exel and Bob Bender (Drew’s assistants w/ the Hawks) will be with him on the sidelines this season.
The Hawks were intent from the start of free agency to not bid against themselves in the pursuit of Teague preferring the market set his value and then deciding whether to match an offer. Locally, fans of the franchise routinely point to the team’s five-year $37.5 million offer to Williams in the summer of 2009 as a reference of the franchise’s previous knack for overvaluing its restricted free agents (prior to Ferry’s arrival).
Teague was selected with the No. 19 overall pick of the 2009 draft by Atlanta. Other guards selected in the draft class include Ricky Rubio (No. 5), Stephen Curry (No. 7), Jrue Holiday (No. 17) and Ty Lawson (No. 19).
Rubio didn’t come right over international play. Curry signed a four-year deal at $44 million with Golden State. Holiday signed a deal worth four-years and $41 million. Lawson’s new deal was four-years and $48 million.
Teague averaged 14.6 points and seven assists on 45 percent shooting in 80 games this past season. From a production standpoint his numbers have matched up pretty well with his point guard peers from the draft class, despite having a much lesser role.
Matching Milwaukee’s offer sheet and bringing a productive Teague back at an annual cap hit of $8 million per season seems likely for the Hawks to pursue. Especially with the team possessing only Shelvin Mack and rookie Dennis Schroeder at the position as it stands today.
The free agency market for established point guards has also dried up somewhat although Nate Robinson, D.J. Augustin, Beno Udrih, Sebastian Telfair, Nolan Smith, Aaron Brooks and Mo Williams remain available.
The Hawks have also been rumored to Bucks restricted free agent guard Brandon Jennings over the past week as well.
The team has three days to match Milwaukee’s offer so we’ll have clarity at some point this weekend, if not sooner.
Bobcats Preparing To Deal Gerald Henderson? The Charlotte Bobcats may be looking to deal restricted free agent guard Gerald Henderson in a sign-and-trade after contract discussions between both sides hit a stalemate reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
The franchise appears unwilling to offer Henderson, who has had trouble staying healthy, a deal which could push close to $9 million per season and has started evaluating its options.
The Bobcats have been rumored to be part of the growing contingent pursuing unrestricted free agent guard Monta Ellis as a backup plan.
The team signed center Al Jefferson to a three-year deal expected to be worth $41 million in free agency this summer so the checkbook appears open for business even though Henderson and team remain far apart in ongoing negotiations.
Sacramento Kings New Coach High On Greivis Vasquez: The Sacramento Kings have spent the offseason upgrading their backcourt with new ownership and a newly hired head coach taking over the reins.
The franchise drafted promising guard Ben McLemore with the No. 7 overall pick in this year’s draft and then added emerging point guard Greivis Vasquez via a three-team trade involving New Orleans and Portland
Vasquez had a career year last season playing with the Pelicans averaging 13.9 points and nine assists in 78 contests. However the arrival of All-Star guard Jrue Holiday in New Orleans helped usher his exit out of town.
The Kings primarily started the shifty Isaiah Thomas at the position last season, but Kings head coach Michael Malone may have visions of Vasquez eventually taking over the starting spot.
“I’ve always been a big fan of Greivis,” Malone told Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. “The first time I saw him play was when he was with the Venezuelan team and I was helping coach the Canadian National team. And they played against Team USA and he had the unenviable task of bringing the ball up the court against Kobe Bryant and Kobe was making him work and I felt bad for the kid.
“The neat thing about it was watching him develop and grow. I’ve gotten a chance to know Greivis just being in the NBA and competing against him from a coaching standpoint. He’s got great size, 6-foot-6 for a point guard coming off a career year for him. Some people say the knock on him is his shooting but Greivis has size, a big heart, plays with a tremendous amount of passion and I think when we talk about changing the culture and bringing guys in that are willing to defend, this is a prime example of that.”
The Kings finished the 2013 campaign with a 28-54 mark. The team has not reached the postseason since the 2006 campaign and have been led by six different coaches during the ongoing playoff drought.