If that sounds a little far-fetched, it isn't. If certain things work out, Teague can actually become the R.O.Y.
Entering the draft, some of Teague’s strengths included “very fast with the ball” and “amazing first step.” They read similar to Derrick Rose’s strengths going into the 2008 draft.
Watching Kentucky Wildcat basketball this past season was like viewing an NBA team. Teague was sporadic early in his lone college season. In some games his shot fell. There were as many 6-11 shooting performances as there were 4-11 nights. He was extremely inconsistent.
As the season progressed, he settled into his role and became more of a playmaker. He took better shots and helped lead the Wildcats to an NCAA championship. Rarely does a freshman lead a fairly young team to a title. Of the four Wildcats that were drafted, three of them were freshman and the other was a sophomore.
Teague proved that he can run a team. He progressed as a player. Given some time, I expect the same progression for him in the NBA.
That is only one reason Teague can win rookie of the year.
Teague must learn the pro game before he will be allowed to show that he belongs. Kirk Hinrich can be a great influence on him. Understanding the opposing team’s defense will be tough for Teague at first, and understanding how to play defense will be equally tough.
Teague will play, how many minutes he plays will depend on how effective he is on defense. Hinrich helps out tremendously here. Hinrich can teach Teague some tricks and secrets on the defensive end.
After Teague learns what he can from Hinrich he will have to supplant him.
This is not the same Kirk Hinrich from his first run with the Bulls. This version is older and slower. If Teague can take advantage of Hinrich’s diminishing skills, that will mean more playing time.
With the extra playing time comes overall exposure. The exposure for Teague becomes greater if the Bulls can win while he is on the floor.
The ideal win total for the Bulls must be around the 45-50 range. If Teague can contribute 14 points and five assists for the season, he will be in the R.O.Y. discussion.
I believe that Teague will be better than advertised. His game will translate well in the NBA. He has natural point guard skills. The Bulls are a jump-shooting team. Teague is tailor-made for what the team needs.
Looking back at the draft I am hard pressed to find a ton of competition for Teague’s rookie of the year bid. Anthony Davis may turn out to be a star but I expect him to struggle in his rookie season. Frontcourt players usually struggle in their first year in the NBA.
After Davis, the only other rookies I see potentially in the running for R.O.Y. is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Harrison Barnes and Austin Rivers. With Davis and Rivers both with the Hornets they may try to outdo each other. That would split the voting for the award which may swing in Teague’s favor.
Teague has a chance to be one of the bright spot for the Bulls in a season with little expectations. Winning the R.O.Y. award would be a surprise to some but no surprise to me.