Chicago Bulls rookie Marquis Teague is learning how to be a point guard at the NBA level in training camp.
When the Chicago Bulls drafted Marquis Teague out of Kentucky with the 29th overall pick in June, it was largely sight unseen. Teague had talked to the Bulls during the draft combine process several weeks prior, but Chicago wasn't one of the teams the Indianapolis native had worked out for.
After the draft selection, it was initially thought he could step right into the backup point guard role which would soon be vacated by the departure of C.J. Watson. But a miserable summer league performance proved otherwise and served as a rude awakening of sorts for the young point guard: Marquis Teague had a lot to learn about the NBA, and he had a lot of work to do.
So after a summer of working out physically, the 19-year-old now finds himself receiving a crash course on the mental aspects of basketball in training camp and learning the biggest key to what makes a point guard successful on this level.
“Just communicating. You’ve got to know where everybody is on the floor,” said Teague in an interview with CSN Chicago on Thursday. “You’re the point guard, coach on the floor, so just know where you’re supposed to be and know where everybody else is supposed to be.”
During summer league, Teague looked as if he were trying to find a balance between utilizing his natural talent and proving that he could be a floor general. But he seemed to be doing way too much thinking on the court in Las Vegas and it showed in the mistakes he made on the floor. Teague averaged 10.6 points and 3.0 assists, but he also shot 29.4 percent from the field and averaged a whopping 3.8 turnovers per game.
Tom Thibodeau isn’t sure whether or not his rookie will see any significant time this season. For now, he’s more focused on the teaching aspect and wants Teague to learn as much as he can.
“Well, he’s a lot better now than he was in the summer. He’s 19 years old, he’s learning the league, learning a new system, learning his teammates. I just want him to concentrate on his improvement each and every day, learn how to be a pro, and we’ll see where we go from there.”
During Monday’s media day session, Teague had a clear understanding of what he needs to do in order to improve and he certainly has the positive mindset that will serve him well in the long run.
“I’ve just gotta be patient and continue to work hard,” Teague told NBC Chicago. “I need to continue to learn and grow as a player and stay in the gym and keep working hard.”