The Indiana Pacers went out and acquired former All-Star point guard Jeff Teague this offseason in a three-team deal that sent George Hill to the Utah Jazz. It was a huge step in the right direction for the Pacers’ franchise and finally gave them the true point guard that they have been searching for to place alongside Paul George.
Teague is going to make the Pacers a threat in the Eastern Conference during the 2016-17 season, but there is some question about his future with Indiana. He is heading into the final year of his contract, and the two sides have not been able to work out an extension. It doesn’t seem too likely that he would leave the Pacers with the excitement that he has shown about being back in his hometown, but there is no guarantee.
That brings up the question, will Teague re-sign with the Pacers next offseason in 2017 NBA free agency assuming the two sides don’t get an extension done?
Following the trade, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that the Pacers would work on an extension with Teague. Nothing has come out since that report about the two sides working on a new deal.
Last season with the Hawks, according to ESPN statistics, Teague ended up averaging 15.7 points, 5.9 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per game. He shot 43.9 percent from the field overall and knocked down 40.0 percent of his three-point attempts. Teague’s numbers speak for themselves and certainly show why Larry Bird and the Pacers made him their new point guard.
While there is a chance that another team would pay more than the Pacers, Teague has always dreamed of playing for his hometown team.
“I always wanted to play for the Pacers,” Teague said. “To have an opportunity like this is big for me. I’m trying to make the most of this year and, hopefully, be here a long time.”
Needless to say, that quote from Teague certainly makes it sound like he will want to work something out with the Pacers for a long-term deal. He will likely give Indiana the first chance to get a deal done and meeting when free agency opens up.
Indiana is one of the top up-and-coming teams in the NBA. George has officially broken out as one of the elite superstars in the league and second-year big man Myles Turner has the potential to be something special. Add in Teague and fellow offseason acquisitions, Thaddeus Young and Al Jefferson, and the Pacers are a force to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference playoff chase.
Teague certainly could leave the Pacers following the 2016-17 season. There is nothing holding him back from taking another offer should he choose to go that route. Even though there is that chance, Teague’s heart sounds like it is back in Indiana and Bird will likely figure out a way to get something done.
Expect to see the Pacers get a long-term deal done with Teague next offseason if one isn’t already done. He was acquired to be the franchise point guard for Indiana’s future, and Bird will do everything he can to make sure that Teague is part of the Pacers’ core for the foreseeable future.
Do you think Jeff Teague can help take the Indiana Pacers back to the Eastern Conference Finals? Which teams do you think will show interest in signing him next offseason? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Photo by Darron Cummings/AP Images]