The Hawks are talking with other teams about Jeff Teague, reports Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The team had been soliciting offers for Teague as well as backup Dennis Schröder, but they’ve recently been focused more heavily on Teague, Mannix adds (on Twitter).
Zach Lowe of ESPN.com reported earlier this week that the team has “major trust issues” with Schröder, and that the Hawks were focused on contending this season, hints that the team would prefer to hang on to Teague. However, coach/executive Mike Budenholzer put recent games against the Kings and Suns in Schröder’s hands, as Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes. Soon-to-be free agent Al Horford praised the team’s point guard play, and particularly Teague’s value to the Hawks, after Monday’s win against the Nuggets, Vivlamore relays.
“It was huge,” Horford said. “Jeff’s energy, his activity, I’ve said this before. When he plays at that level, it changes our team completely. It was true last season. It’s true now. I was very happy to see him give us some really good minutes. Dennis as well. They both really set the tone.”
Schröder raised eyebrows before the season when he told the German magazine Sport Bild that he would “explore other possibilities” if the Hawks didn’t give him a chance to start, though he also made it clear that he likes playing in Atlanta, and the relationship between Teague and Schröder is solid, as Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders reported in October. Schröder has started just six of Atlanta’s 46 games this season, though his PER of 16.8, up from 15.7 last season, indicates the third-year veteran is becoming more efficient even as he plays just 21.5 minutes per game. Teague’s minutes are down this season, from 30.5 to 28.3, and his PER of 16.3 is off significantly from last year’s career high of 20.6.
Teague is making $8MM this year and is set for the same next season on the four-year offer sheet he signed with the Bucks in 2013. Atlanta matched that bid, reeling him back in just weeks after drafting Schröder 17th overall. The 22-year-old German native is pulling down about $1.763MM this year on his rookie scale contract, which, like Teague’s deal, runs out after next season. Both are eligible for extensions this summer, though rookie scale extensions are much more common than veteran extensions.
Lowe speculates that the Bucks will take another look at Teague (Twitter link), and he theorized in his Tuesday column that the Jazz would be a fit. SB Nation’s Tom Ziller suggests that trading for Teague is an intriguing alternative for teams planning a bid for a point guard in free agency, given how shallow this year’s free agent point guard class will be (Twitter links).
Do you think the Hawks should trade Teague or hang on to him? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.