Kentucky Basketball: Marquis Teague Falls into Perfect Backup Role with Bulls

Matt OveringContributor IIIJuly 10, 2012

LEXINGTON, KY - APRIL 17:  Marquis Teague of the Kentucky Wildcats talks with the media during the news conference in which he announced he will enter the NBA draft at Joe Craft Center on April 17, 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Marquis Teague had a rough beginning to his only season as a Kentucky Wildcat. His pedigree, coupled with the historic success of John Calipari-coached point guards, put him in a pressure-packed position from day one.

Teague's transition to the NBA should be smooth(er) than his conversion from high school to college point guard, for multiple reasons.

First and foremost, he'll have a tremendous learning opportunity in Chicago. According to the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls will sign Kirk Hinrich, a veteran guard that has played alongside Marquis' brother, Jeff, in Atlanta. Hinrich is known for his solid defense and decision-making, making him an ideal mentor for the 19-year-old Teague. 

Derrick Rose will also be able to guide Teague through his first few months in the league. Rose, another Calipari point guard prodigy, will be out for 6-9 months, according to the Chicago Sun-Times

Teague will receive significant minutes at the beginning of the season with Derrick Rose on the sideline. While Bulls fans may hate the notion of Rose doing anything but starting, this may help the rookie learn the NBA game at a much faster pace. 

Rose and Teague are strikingly similar. Coming out of college, Rose couldn't shoot from the outside. He was a slashing point guard, just like Teague. Quickness, toughness and athleticism are descriptive qualities of each guard.

Rose, however, was a proven leader coming out of college, whereas Teague could have used another year. Rose was thrust into a starting role in the NBA, and Teague will (most likely) not.

Regardless of the similarities, the beginning of the season will be a great chance for Teague to learn the ropes. He's joining an experienced team with experienced guards to learn from.

Teague has played alongside NBA-level talent for a full season as a Kentucky Wildcat. There is no reason to think he would struggle in the NBA, when he'll be surrounded by NBA talent. 

Unfortunately for Teague, if he wants to be an NBA starter, it will not be with the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls don't need a point guard of the future, they need a backup for Rose. 

And backup he will be, unless he comes out and has a breakout season, a la Darren Collison's rookie season in 2009-10. Collison averaged 18 points and nine assists as a starter when Chris Paul was injured. After his impressive rookie season, Collison was traded to Indiana.

It may not be likely, but Teague could have that same impact. If he has an effective rookie campaign, a trade would allow him to become an NBA starter, something that likely won't be the case in Chicago.