Atlanta Hawks Reportedly Shopping Jeff Teague 'Aggressively' in Trade Talks

Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2014

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 22: Jeff Teague #0 of the Atlanta Hawks dribbles up the court against the Orlando Magic during the game on January 22, 2014 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE  (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
Fernando Medina/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks weren't ready to see Jeff Teague leave last summer.

Less than 12 months later, they reportedly can't push him out the door fast enough.

"Sources confirmed that Atlanta is...aggressively shopping young point guard Jeff Teague," according to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.

The 25-year-old inked a four-year, $32 million offer sheet with the Milwaukee Bucks over the offseason but the Hawks ultimately decided to match.

Atlanta general manager Danny Ferry looked like a genius early on as Teague looked every part of a rising star. Alongside two-time All-Star Al Horford, Teague shined as a secondary force, posting 16.8 points on 42.1 percent shooting and 8.2 assists over his first 29 games.

Since Horford went down with a torn pectoral muscle, though, a surge of buyer's remorse has apparently overtaken the executive. Over his last 20 games, Teague is down to 14.0 points on 39.8 percent shooting and just 5.8 assists.'s Marc Stein has reported that the New York Knicks have interest in Teague, but there are several hang-ups in a potential swap:

The Knicks are painfully short on assets, making it hard to imagine they'll form a package deemed worthy by the forward-thinking Ferry.

The problem for Atlanta, though, is that the point guard market is light on buyers and potentially saturated with sellers. The Toronto Raptors (Kyle Lowry) and Boston Celtics (Rajon Rondo) each have a more desirable floor general to move should they embrace the trading spirit.

It's tough to figure out what exactly Ferry will look to bring back in return. Outside of draft picks, of course, which no one seems in a rush to part with given the glowing reviews of the 2014 draft class.

With Horford and first-time All-Star Paul Millsap, the Hawks could have their frontcourt of the present and the future. This isn't a particularly young team, though, and Atlanta's ceiling may not rise high enough to make significant noise in the top-heavy Eastern Conference.

Ferry (right) and first-year coach Mike Budenholzer may need a brutally honest self-assessment to best approach Thursday's trade deadline.
Ferry (right) and first-year coach Mike Budenholzer may need a brutally honest self-assessment to best approach Thursday's trade deadline.Dave Tulis/Associated Press

If the Hawks don't have a present worth saving, this could be Atlanta's chance to end a relationship that has appeared, at times, tenuous.

The slow pace of his negotiations in free agency reportedly didn't sit well with him last summer, via Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. While he ultimately matched the deal, Ferry "is not in love" with Teague's contract, sources told Grantland's Zach Lowe.

In other words, those roadblocks may not be as detrimental as they seem.

If there's a worthwhile deal out there, Ferry's likely to come across it in his frantic search. If Teague takes this news as another slight from Atlanta, he may be more than willing to decline his right of refusal.

The Hawks won't give him away, but he can be had at the right price. Considering the upside he still possesses, this could be a great buy-low investment for any team in the point guard market.