Shooting guard. That has been a glaring hole in the Bulls lineup for the better part of three years now and the 2012 Draft was thought have been an opportunity for the Bulls to plug.
The Bench Mob. It had been a out of nowhere success story and it took Chicago and the NBA by storm. The Bulls threw together bit guys and young bigs to form one of, if not the best bench in all of basketball. But it didn’t do the job without the use of it’s superstar leading the first unit.
So the Bulls used the draft to plus the newly punched hole to prevent a small problem from getting bigger. That means two things: first off there is still no shooting guard option in Chicago beyond Rip Hamilton. Second it means that C.J. Watson’s reign on the Bench Mob is over.
Watson was the guy that lead the Bench Mob and served as Derrick Rose’s backup for the last two seasons. But he showed his blemishes this postseason and the Bulls don’t want to allow that to happen again.
Now this isn’t to say C.J. is a bad backup. He was absolutely solid coming off the bench behind Rose. But that’s all he really did was come off the bench and in his final games with the Bulls he shut down and couldn’t shoot to save his life. He failed when the Bulls were counting on him and even though he had given them a few good years, this was a betrayal that wouldn’t sit well with the Bulls.
But what C.J. Watson did was show the Bulls the type of guy they need behind Rose. They need a reliable guy who can lead and get things done when Rose is resting or injured and won’t become part of the issue. Chicago thinks they found that guy in Kentucky point guard Marquis Teague.
Teague isn’t going to be the shooting guard answer for the Bulls.
What he’s going to be is Derrick Rose next season. The Bulls will rely on him to start at point guard right away and play there until Rose returns.
Simply put: Marquis Teague is the Chicago Bulls new starting point guard.
Liking Marquis Teague isn’t a matter of liking him for where he was drafted, it’s more coming to grips with what he’ll be on this team. Don’t hate Teague because he was the best available option, embrace him because he’s bringing stability
Obviously when Derrick Rose comes back, Teague is rendered useless, right? Wrong. When Rose comes back, Marquis Teague stops being Derrick Rose and becomes C.J. Watson. He’ll sit on the Bench and will play when asked. But when he’s called upon to play, Teague is going to do two things C.J. Watson couldn’t do (at least in theory he will).
Teague is going to be more reliable and more resilient than Watson was.
First off age is a factor here and Teague is just 19. He’ll be 19 when the season starts and he won’t stop being 19 until the season is over. So right there that adds longevity into the equation and with a hobbled point guard that Derrick Rose now is, having a fresh, young set of legs to come in is a big pro here.
Also, Teague is a winner. He played for John Calapari at Kentucky which not only means he played for Derrick Rose’s college coach, but he is a National Champion. Now you can hate Kentucky but that was pretty close to a pro system there and Teague was the leader.
So right now the Bulls backup point guard has something the starting one doesn’t: a championship.
When the Bulls went on the clock the draft room was silent. No one could fathom that Marquis Teague, a guy that the Bulls never scouted because they figured he’d be gone was on the board. It wasn’t a hard decision for Gar Forman and John Paxson to make and when you consider the aforementioned information you can start to align yourself with their line of thinking.
Is it a pick that fixes everything for the Bulls? No, it’s not. But does it cripple them or does it plug a small hole and prevent it from getting bigger?
Teague is consistent and is comfortable. No the Bulls didn’t draft a flashy scoring point guard like Will Barton or Doron Lamb, they drafted the backup point guard of the future. So you can understand why Bulls fans are a little put off.
Liking Marquis Teague isn’t a matter of liking him for where he was drafted, it’s more coming to grips with what he’ll be on this team. Don’t hate Teague because he was the best available option, embrace him because he’s bringing stability and for the 29th pick in the draft that’s really not that bad.
It also takes pressure off the Bulls to find a point guard to run things while Rose is out. It’s a cost effective replacement and a smart move for the future. Before the draft the Bulls had to either re-sign C.J. Watson, find a veteran point guard that would run most of their offseason budget if not all of it, or they’d have to throw John Lucas III out there in a starting role.
God Bless John Lucas III but he’s not a starter.
Now the Bulls can let C.J. Watson go and get his $3.2 million option and put it somewhere else — perhaps give a little of it to John Lucas III who has expressed an interest in returning at a discount. This means when Rose comes back you get your young backup coming off first and your fan favorite third stringer who is capable of producing sitting behind him.
All this plus you can have money to throw at an Omer Asik offer and match it.
The move to draft Teague not only was a sexy pick to the Bulls who were in love with his talent ability, but it makes sense from a finical standpoint. Plus, stripping all the glitz and gloss off of it, Teague does everything C.J. Watson does only he does it better and does it youthfully.
And if that still doesn’t do it for you consider this: the Bulls have the Bobcats 1st round draft pick which is unprotected in 2016. By then Rose will be hitting his peak again after a few years of recovering from the knee injury, Teague will be a seasoned veteran in Thibodeau’s system and Joakim Noah will still be holding things down in the middle.
Add a lottery pick player to that mix and if the Bulls haven’t won a championship by then, then you better clear you calendar and buy season tickets.
Because the future is bright in Chicago, even if we can’t see it now through our cynicism. Marquis Teague isn’t a sexy pick but he’s the right pick.