The Bulls drafted Teague 29th overall in 2012 after he helped Kentucky win a national title as a freshman. It was a somewhat surprising move, seeing that the Bulls already had Derrick Rose, arguably the best point guard on the planet. But Teague, of course, wasn't acquired to replace Rose; he was brought in to serve as a quality backup.
Unfortunately for the Indianapolis native, he would rarely play as a rookie, even with Rose missing the entire 2012-13 season recovering from ACL surgery. He made only 48 appearances, averaging 2.1 points and 1.3 assists in 8.2 minutes per game.
So far this preseason, Teague has looked impressive at times. And then other times, it looks like he should've stayed in college for another year or two. What does he need to do in order to pan out with the Bulls?
Continue to Improve Shooting
Perhaps Teague's biggest weakness is shooting the basketball. As a rookie last year, he shot 38.1 percent from the field, including a horrid 17.4 percent from beyond the arc. In addition, he hit just 56.3 percent of his free-throw attempts. Ouch, that's Shaquille O'Neal/Dennis Rodman type of numbers.
Luckily for Teague, shooting is one of the easiest things to improve. It just takes a lot of time in the gym. You know the saying "Practice makes perfect."
Developing a reliable jump shot would do wonders for his career, especially if he and Rose occasionally play at the same time. Due to Rose's ability to penetrate, Teague would get a ton of open looks as defenses center their attention on Rose.
Through seven games this preseason, Teague is shooting 45 percent from the field, which is much better than his 38 percent during his rookie year. He's also shooting an improved—but definitely nothing to brag about—30 percent from three-point land. His jumper has improved, but it still has a long way to go until it's effective.
Maybe being a teammate of Mike Dunleavy, one of the game's most dangerous long-distance threats and a Bulls newcomer, will rub off on Mr. Teague.
Attack the Rim
While shooting isn't Teague's strong point, he does possess some serious speed and quickness. This allows him to blow past defenders and get to the basket with ease.
Watch him here driving to the basket and finishing with a nice reverse layup versus the Philadelphia 76ers last season.
Teague needs to do this a lot more often. He did it during this year's Las Vegas Summer League, which helped him get 25 points in a contest against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Speaking of the summer league, he was quite impressive, averaging 18 points per game and showing signs that he can one day blossom into a great pro.
Although Teague does have the ability to get in the paint, he must improve his shooting at the rim. He shot just 47.9 percent from that spot last season, according to Hoopdata.
If he can gain confidence, attack the rim and learn to finish, he'll be simply unstoppable. He certainly needs to take advantage of his speed and quickness. Many players around the league would love to have that ability.
Will Teague ever pan out in the Windy City? Yes, but it's going to take a little time. He'll end up being what they call a late bloomer.
Not everybody is an impact player right off the bat; just look at guys like Steve Nash and Chauncey Billups. No, Teague isn't going to morph into a two-time MVP or a five-time All-Star, but you get the point.
Only 20 years old, Teague has ample time to develop into a special player.
The Bulls need to be patient. They have traded first-round picks over the past few years such as Thabo Sefolosha, Tyrus Thomas and James Johnson.
Getting rid of Teague right now would be a mistake, though. Just give him another year to work on his shooting and confidence. Plus, getting the chance to learn from Rose will only help.
Reserve point guard Kirk Hinrich will become a free agent next summer. Look for Teague to replace "Captain Kirk" and emerge as Rose's primary backup in 2014-15.
Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler are two prime examples of first-round draft steals for the Bulls. At the end of the day, you can add Teague to the list as well.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!