After much speculation, the Chicago Bulls used the 29th draft pick to address their point guard situation, taking Marquis Teague from the University of Kentucky.
Teague, a native of Indianapolis, was the starting point guard on the Wildcats National Championship team this past March.
According to Bulls general manager Gar Forman, Teague was the best player available on the board and the fourth Kentucky player drafted behind Chicago native Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Terrance Jones.
“We were very excited that Marquis Teague was still on the board,” Forman told NBC Chicago at the Bulls NBA Draft media gathering at the Berto Center. “We feel we got a real value in this pick. ... He's got great speed and quickness and we think a very, very high ceiling. We really thought it was a value to get Marquis at the 29th pick.”
Teague started every game as a freshman and averaged 10 points and 4.8 assists to 2.7 turnovers per game. His older brother Jeff is the starting point guard for the Atlanta Hawks and his familiarity with the pro game was a plus and something that head coach Tom Thibodeau addressed as well.
“It's a big step going from college to the pro game, but the fact that he's played in a number of big games helps. The fact that he's been around the pro game helps,” said Thibodeau who also tempered expectations for the 19-year-old.
“There's a big learning curve [ahead] for him. He's got to learn our system, he's got to learn our players. He made very good progress last season [at Kentucky] and we're expecting him to do the same here.”
The Bulls didn't draft Teague for immediate help in the backcourt as Forman announced the team will still go after a veteran point guard in free agency which begins Sunday. Teague still has a number of things to work on, particularly his shooting and decision-making as a point guard, but once Teague becomes acclimated to NBA life, under the tutelage of Tom Thibodeau, he could prove to be a very capable backup to Derrick Rose in the near future.