Countdown to NBA trade deadline February 18: Should Rockets trade for….. Jeff Teague?
Are the Atlanta Hawks interested in dealing their star point guard Jeff Teague?
It’s almost time! The NBA’s trading deadline is less than three weeks away, and the Houston Rockets need to make a move fast!
With Josh Smith back, and Dwight Howard playing his best basketball in three years, the Rockets are still a few pieces away from contending in the Western Conference. Despite the problems Houston has faced throughout the season, there is still one issue the Rocket have yet to solve.
Since 2013, the Rockets have longed for a legit point guard. No disrespect to Patrick Beverley, he has established himself as one of the best defensive studs in the league. Yet, as an offensive play marker, Beverley is not a player who can distribute the ball and create for the team.
As @WojVerticalNBA and I discuss on his podcast: Keep an eye on Atlanta before the trade deadline. Hawks been discussing Jeff Teague w/teams
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS) January 27, 2016
According to Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports, the Hawks are open to a trade regarding Teague. In 45 games, Teague has posted 14.3 points, 5.6 assists, and 2.6 rebounds per game.
Although he is shooting his worst (41.3 percent from the field) percentage since his rookie season, adding Teague will make a tremendous upgrade to the any backcourt. While there are numerous teams who have entered the “Jeff Teague Sweepstakes” Houston may have the best available assets for Atalanta in a trade.
What Rockets could offer
This would be a great move for both teams. For Houston, Jeff Teague will be everything Ty Lawson failed to do as a Rocket. Since Teague has established himself as one of the league’s top point guards, perhaps James Harden will have a bit more trust in his new backcourt mate.
The Rockets would finally have a legitimate play maker who can facilitate, and make the game a lot easier for Harden and Dwight Howard. In addition to becoming the Rockets second maybe third scoring option, Teague’s defense is often overlooked. With a career average of 1.2 steals per game, he will also be an upgrade to the Rockets’ perimeter defense as well.
There are plenty of players Atalanta can throw in to match the Rockets’ salary cap. However, if their is one player Houston could steal from the Hawks, it’s forward Kent Bazemore.
Do not think of Bazemore as some pointless scrub the Hawks are trying to get rid of. Think of Bazemore as upgrade of Marcus Thornton. He is an excellent scorer off the bench, who can defend at it’s highest level. At this point in the season, the Rockets need all the help they can get on the defensive end.
For Atalanta, if Lawson is added they would still have an all-star caliber point guard on their roster. Lawson can still play at a high level despite having his worst season since his rookie year. Playing in Mike Budenholzer‘s Spurs like system would create the best opportunity to get his career back on the right track.
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The Hawks biggest steal in the trade will be adding forward Terrence Jones to their second unit. T-Jones is in the last year of his contract, and there is a small chance he will return to Houston this offseason. So it would be in Morey’s best interest to trade the young forward before he walks away this summer.
If Jones is added to the Hawks lineup, he will be their number one scoring option coming off the bench. As well as playing behind all-star forward Paul Millsap, who Terrence Jones has resembled during Millsap’s first four years with the Utah Jazz. Learning from Millsap will be more beneficial to Jones’ career moving forward.
Odds trade will occur:
Unfortunately, this trade seems to be a long shot, but it does not hurt to try. As frustrating as this season has been, the Houston Rockets should be willing to make a trade for anyone.
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