While it won’t become official until Tuesday when the NBA offices are open, the Bulls traded Marquis Teague to the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday. In return for the player taken with the 29th pick of the 2012 draft, the Bulls got some dude I’d never heard of. His name is Toko Shengelia.
In reality the Bulls traded Marquis Teague for cap space.
Shengelia is a restricted free agent this summer, and if the Bulls don’t extend a qualifying offer they’ll have somewhere between $600,000 and $700,000 of extra cap space to use this summer. Which is fine, I suppose, depending on how they use that cap space. Overall, however, this trade just doesn’t sit well with me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not gnashing teeth or angry about it. I just don’t think trading a player you took in the first round the season before for some guy who has spent most of his career in the D-League, and $700,000 in cap space is a good look. Particularly when you remember that Marquis Teague is only 20 years old.
At this point I believe it’s fairly obvious that Teague left school too early and really could have used another season or two to develop. But there’s a reason the Bulls drafted him, and it was the potential he displayed.
Teague was a five-star recruit at Kentucky, remember. He was part of the same class that brought the Wildcats both Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. So a part of me worries that Teague is going to live up to that potential down the line, and it will come back to burn the Bulls.
Of course, on the other side of that coin, it’s obvious that Teague wasn’t going to get the chance to realize it here. Tom Thibodeau made that perfectly clear. In nearly a year-and-a-half of a Derrick Rose-less existence, Teague only made his way into 68 games with the Bulls, and those only came when the game was generally over or Thibs had no choice but to play him.
Hopefully cutting bait on him this quickly won’t haunt the Bulls, but in case it does, I hope that $700,000 was worth it. Maybe Jerry Reinsdorf could include those savings in the White Sox’ offer for Masahiro Tanaka.
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