Da Windy City’s Countdown To Tipoff series continues with 25 days remaining until the Bulls’ highly-anticipated season opener at Miami. Today we examine second-year guard Marquis Teague, who looks to build on a rookie season in which he made little impact.
Rated as the nation’s top high school point guard in the class of 2011, Teague was an integral part of Kentucky’s national championship team as a freshman in 2011-12, averaging 10 points per game. He declared for the draft after just one season in Lexington, and the Bulls used their first-round pick to select him at No. 29.
Derrick Rose’s well-documented injury left the Bulls’ roster in flux, with the team signing Nate Robinson, Marco Belinelli and even Kirk Hinrich as insurance while Rose sat out. That left Teague buried on the depth chart, best exemplified by his average of 2.1 points in 8.2 minutes per game.
Coach Tom Thibodeau never likes to play rookies much, but we saw the same thing with Jimmy Butler two years ago when he played for only 8.5 minutes per game. In part to injuries, Butler stepped it up last year and ultimately won the team’s starting shooting guard spot at season’s end.
Likewise, Teague was the talk of the Bulls’ summer league team, showing he is indeed ready to take on a larger role this season now that Robinson and Belinelli have signed elsewhere.
Arguably the team’s MVP in Las Vegas, Teague impressed coaches with 18.3 points per game along with 4.5 assists. Still, however, Teague is likely to begin the season as the third-string point guard behind Rose and Hinrich.
I’m not suggesting that Teague will have a breakout sophomore season like Butler. I’m just saying that Bulls fans should expect him to be more involved as he continues to work his way into the rotation in 2013-14.