After weeks of debate whether or not the Bulls would try to trade up or out of the draft, Chicago decided to go with a safe, cheap replacement for Derrick Rose by drafting Kentucky PG, Marquis Teague. Teague was a huge part of Kentucky’s success in the NCAA tournament and helped them win a national championship. Teague is the younger brother of Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague and averaged 10.0 points and 4.8 assists a game in his one season with Kentucky. He was also coached by Rose’s college coach, John Calipari.
This guy was a complete steal at the 29th pick. Like Derrick Rose, Marquis is a freakishly fast athlete and has a ridiculously high vertical jump (40.5 inches). While the Bulls could have taken a chance with a number of decent wings that were still left on the board, Teague was someone they couldn’t pass up. Chicago has a history of drafting players from winning programs such as Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng along with former players Kirk Hinrich and Chris Duhon. Most of these guys have turned out to be fantastic contributors over the years and they obviously think Teague will be another great addition to their roster. Not to mention his contract is going to be rather cheap and is NBA ready enough to step into a probable starting role.
Free Agency News
At the stroke of midnight Sunday morning, the Houston Rockets met with Bulls restricted free agent, Omer Asik. Asik was reportedly offered a 3 year, $25.1 million contract for his services. While the Bulls have repeatedly said that they will match any offer for Asik, this contract has a 3rd year poison pill in it where Asik will be paid $14.5 million in 2015. Adding Rose, Noah and Boozer’s contracts to 2015 along with Asik’s will make it impossible to avoid the super tax situation which the Bulls are notorious for avoiding. The Bulls value the size and defensive prowess of Asik however, it’s definitely questionable if an often clumsy, poor shooting center is worth the ridiculous price set by an obviously desperate team. The Bulls will have until July 14th to decide whether or not they want to match the Rocket’s offer.
The Central Division rival Indiana Pacers have a similar but even tougher decision to make with restricted free agent, Roy Hibbert who was offered a 4 year max deal by the Portland Trail Blazers. Big men are becoming more and more highly coveted over time in a league full of smaller players. Even the most mediocre centers are getting thrown loads of cash for miniscule numbers. Next season the Bulls will most likely have to deal with the same situation with Taj Gibson. The ability to add backloaded, poison pill years to restricted free agent offers was something that should have been addressed during the lockout. NBA teams signing players to bad contracts was a big part of the NBA’s downfall over the last few years that lead to a labor dispute. In a league where DeAndre Jordan makes $10 million a season, we have to ask, was anything really fixed?
The Bulls have reached out to former starting point guard Kirk Hinrich. Chicago has reportedly offered a contract of around $1.2 million or slightly higher per season. However, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune has reported that 8 teams are currently in the mix for Hinrich and doubts $1.2 will “get it done”. Chicago is also scheduled to meet with former Trail Blazer’s shooting guard, Brandon Roy sometime this week.