The Chicago Bulls are heading into a 2016-17 NBA season full of questions. There is no telling whether they will end up being a playoff contender, although they certainly believe that they have a good chance.
Fred Hoiberg and company will be a completely new-look team this season. Derrick Rose was traded to the New York Knicks in exchange for Robin Lopez and a couple of other pieces, as ESPN reported. He has been the face of the Bulls’ franchise throughout the majority of his career and not having him in Chicago will seem strange.
Looking at the point guard position with Rose now in New York, the Bulls could have some long-term issues.
Rajon Rondo was signed to a two-year, $28 million contract with the Bulls this offseason, Marc J. Spears of ESPN reported. It was the best move that the Bulls could make at the time, although there are many reasons to believe that the Rondo and Bulls relationship will sour fairly quickly.
It wouldn’t be too surprising to see the Bulls move on from Rondo following the upcoming season. If they do choose to go that direction, they will search free agency for another starting point guard. There is one point guard in particular that would be a perfect fit in Hoiberg’s offense.
Jeff Teague was traded to the Indiana Pacers this past offseason. He is expected by many to re-sign with the Pacers long-term, although he has not done so just yet. Chicago could very well make a run at him in 2017 free agency.
Last season with the Atlanta Hawks, Teague ended up averaging 15.7 points, 5.9 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per game. He shot 43.9 percent from the floor overall and knocked down 40.0 percent from behind the three-point arc. Those numbers would make him a highly coveted free agent next offseason.
Larry Bird and the Pacers are going to do their best to keep the Indiana native in town long-term. They do not want to let the first true point guard that they have had in years get away. Chicago being the team to sign him would make things even more frustrating for the Pacers if they were to lose him.
Chicago is refusing to go through a rebuilding process. They signed veteran shooting guard Dwyane Wade to pair with Jimmy Butler. Adding Teague to form a big three would make them a dangerous team on the offensive end of the court.
There are very few point guards that are capable of staying in front of Teague defensively. He is too quick for most defenders, which allows him to get to the rim with ease. Teague is among the best in the NBA at creating his own shots at the rim, while also opening up his teammates with his ability to drive.
Needless to say, it will be interesting to see how Teague fits with the Pacers this season and whether they can figure out a way to get a long-term deal done with him.
If Teague does hit open free agency, there are going to be a lot of teams lined up with an interest in him. Chicago won’t be the only team pursuing him. They would have to be very aggressive to open free agency to have any chance at convincing Teague to sign with them.
Expect to see the Bulls show interest in a few different point guards if Rondo doesn’t end up working out. Teague will be at the top of the list of players that the Bulls have a realistic chance of signing.
Do you think the Chicago Bulls would be a good landing spot for Jeff Teague in free agency? Will he end up signing an extension with the Pacers before he hits free agency? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Photo by AP Photo/Darron Cummings]