Previous ArticlesPick by pick analysis of the first round of the NBA Draft
Bulls select point guard Marquis Teague at No. 29
by Adam Fluck
Posted on Jun 28
The Chicago Bulls selected point guard Marquis Teague with the 29th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft on Thursday night.
Teague, a 6-2, 180-pounder who played one season at Kentucky, averaged 10 points and 4.8 assists in 32.6 minutes per game as a freshman.
With Derrick Rose recovering from a torn ACL, finding another guard who will potentially be able to contribute as a rookie became a priority for General Manager Gar Forman and his staff. Rose underwent surgery on May 12 and won’t likely return until the early part of 2013.
Though Teague played just one season collegiately, he comes to the NBA as a winner. He started all 40 of Kentucky’s games as the Wildcats went 38-2 en route to the 2012 NCAA National Championship, making him the fourth player on the Bulls’ roster to have won a title in college (Carlos Boozer, Richard Hamilton and Joakim Noah).
In his draft preview video at NBA.com, Teague said Spurs guard Tony Parker is among the players he watches.
“I like his style of play,” said Teague of Parker. “He’s fast and he can get up and down the floor and push the ball. That’s how I like to play.”
Bulls.com’s Sam Smith noted that many draft experts had Teague, whose older brother Jeff plays for the Atlanta Hawks, slated to be off the board by the time Chicago made its pick.
“He’d generally been regarded as someone who’d go perhaps eight or 10 picks ahead of where he did,” wrote Smith in his pick by pick analysis. “He’s a good playmaker and attacks the basket in the mode of his brother and Darren Collison of the Indiana Pacers. It’s not likely he can come in and start for Rose to open next season, but he’ll be a very good backup guard for when Rose returns.”
Added Smith, “Teams always say they cannot believe such a player slipped to them and that they are thrilled he did. We haven’t heard from the Bulls management yet, and I expect them to be serious about that as the Bulls worked out several dozen players. I don’t believe Teague was among them, but he’s a good value pick at that point in the draft.”
Smith had Teague ranked as the third best point guard available in this year’s draft, behind Damian Lillard (No. 6) and Kendall Marshall (No. 13), and ahead of Tony Wroten (No. 25).
Earlier this month in comments made to BullsTV as part of a fan Q & A, Forman said he was optimistic that the Bulls would find a player at No. 29 who would be able to contribute, someone along the lines of Taj Gibson (selected 26th overall in 2009) or Jimmy Butler (30th in 2011).
Teague, at 19 years of age, will have an opportunity to do just that. A native of Indianapolis, Teague went to Pike High School, where he averaged 22.7 points, 5.9 assists and 4.2 rebounds and was one of five finalists for the Naismith Award for the National High School Player of the Year.
“It’s a deep draft and we’ll be able to address a need with our pick and get a player that’s going to fit into our team, both from a culture standpoint and from a strategic standpoint,” said Forman.
Forman also acknowledged that without Rose, the Bulls have hit a bump in the road. But, between the expectation that Rose will return to form and the team’s long term assets—including a future first round draft pick from Charlotte and Nicola Mirotic, currently playing for Real Madrid—he remains highly optimistic about what is to come.
“[In the] long term, we’re in as good of position as we feel we’ve ever been in,” Forman told BullsTV. “We’ve got some quality young players and we’ve got some assets on the horizon. We don’t have a lot of financial flexibility right now, but we will in the future.”