Jeff Teague has been mentioned in a number of different trade rumors this off-season, but it appears one of those deals is about to become a reality.
Yahoo! Sports has reported that Atlanta, Indiana, and Utah have agreed to a three-team trade. Atlanta will send point guard Jeff Teague to the Pacers, Indiana will ship point guard George Hill to the Jazz, and the Hawks will acquire Utah’s first-round draft choice in the upcoming 2016 NBA Draft (No. 12 overall).
Jeff Teague is an Indianapolis native, but the Pacers’ decision to make a move for the 28-year-old former All-Star had little to do with bringing him home to play in front of his hometown fans. Indiana has been eyeing Teague for some time; they see him as an important piece as they attempt to move to a more up-tempo style of play. Teague is a speedy player and a “pure” point guard — two things that are very appealing to the Pacers.
Jeff Teague was an NBA All-Star in 2014-15, averaging 15.9 points and seven assists per game. His numbers were nearly as good last season, but Teague played the entire year with a knee injury that severely hampered his abilities on the court. A healthy Jeff Teague will add a dynamic presence to the Indiana Pacers’ backcourt. Teague has one year left on his current contract, and Indiana reportedly plans to offer him a multi-year extension as they see him as a big part of their future plans.
The Utah Jazz will welcome another Indianapolis native, George Hill, to the fold. The six-foot-three guard seems to be a very good fit in Utah, since the Jazz have been trying to add a veteran lead guard to their roster for some time.
According to CBS Sports, Hill fits the style of play in Utah very well, since he is known as a smart basketball player who plays efficiently and under control. The Jazz run a motion offense, which does not require the team’s point guard to have the ball in his hands or initiate the offense nearly as much as some offensive systems do — which seems like a match for George Hill’s skill set.
Hill had a solid 2015-16 for the Pacers, posting averages of 12.1 points, four rebounds, and 3.5 assists per contest. George Hill will give Utah some much-needed depth at the guard position, as last season’s 41-game starter, Dante Exum, is very young and still developing.
Utah has high hopes for Dante Exum, the young point guard from Australia, but he is still adjusting to the NBA game, and is coming back from a serious knee injury (torn ACL) that he is still recovering from. Hill gives the Jazz a steady, dependable lead guard who does not need to dominate the ball to be successful.
The Hawks will receive Utah’s No. 12 overall pick in the upcoming draft, and ESPN is reporting that Atlanta hopes to trade the pick. In addition to acquiring what the team hopes will be a nice trade asset, the other reason Atlanta chose to make this deal was to open up more playing time for point guard Dennis Schroder. The 22-year-old from Germany has shown great potential during this three NBA seasons, but with Teague on the roster, Schroder was never going to get the opportunity to blossom into the star the team feels he can become. Now, that opportunity is his for the taking.
Jeff Teague has been on the trading block for weeks, if not months. Teague wanted to be traded, and is on record stating he would love to play in his hometown. With this deal apparently in place, the Atlanta Hawks and Jeff Teague both got what they wanted.
[Photo by Elise Amendola/AP Images]