July 11, 2016, 9:00 am
Jeff Teague’s name had been swirling in the rumor mill for quite some time before he was sent to his hometown Indiana Pacers in late June.
The emergence of Dennis Schroeder in Atlanta coupled with Teague’s tough season made his departure all the more likely and while he could’ve been moved to any number of teams, Teague revealed that he and the Hawks worked together to find something that made sense for all parties involved.
In his interview with Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders, Teague also discussed his goals for next season and talked about the exciting proposition of getting a fresh start with his hometown team.
The 28 year old point guard is going to spend the offseason working on strength and shooting and hopes to emerge as a leader in the Indiana locker room. Teague is also looking forward to playing an up-tempo game, something Larry Bird mentioned as a philosophical change from Frank Vogel’s slow paced teams of years past. While it remains to be seen whether Nate McMillan can coach a high pace team, it’s something that the Pacers certainly have the personnel for.
While many assume Teague had a down year, he actually scored and rebounded at a better per-minute rate than he did in his All Star season. He saw a sharp decline in his shooting percentage but boosted his three point accuracy from 34.3% all the way up to 40%. He was an effective defender for a Hawks team that ranked 2nd in defense. All while playing on a wounded knee.
Teague, with a fresh start and surrounded by young talent and superstar Paul George, looks set for a bounce back year. Whether or not he should need to ‘bounce back’ from what was a solid year is up for debate, but the Indianapolis product should be in for a strong season.