A disappointing season for Jeff Teague is pushing the Atlanta Hawks to trading him while his value is still high. It seems there are a number of teams interested, above them all the Utah Jazz.
The Jazz, battling for the 8th spot in the Western conference playoffs, lost point guard Dante Exum at the beginning of the season, which made Raul Neto the starting point guard. Neto, a 23-year old Brazilian in his first NBA season, isn’t doing something too impressive, and the Jazz do feel they need a little something extra in order to make a better run at getting back into the postseason. Neto is averaging 5.6 points per game, while backup Trey Burke averages 12.3 points per game.
We mention Burke because if there is a trade for Teague, Burke and Alec Burks will be going the other way. Burke is having his best NBA season in terms of shooting efficiency and points per minute. Burks, a backup to Gordon Hayward and Rodney Hood, is averaging 14.3 points per game, a career high, while also averaging more than ever before when it comes to points per minute.
Teague, who was an All-Star last season as the Hawks finished first in the Eastern conference, has fallen in most categories although he is playing less than before. His shooting seems to be the most worrying aspect, hitting just 41.9% from the field although his 3-point shooting is at a career high, making 38.7% from beyond the arc. The Hawks seem to be ready to promote Dennis Schroder to the starting point guard position. He’s averaging 10.8 points and 4.7 assists per game.
The Jazz might be taking a hit when it comes to their depth, but they’re getting a player who won’t run off after just one season. Teague has a deal that goes through the 2016-2017 season, making $8 million that year. By trading for him they get a massive upgrade at point guard and giving themselves a very strong starting five, once Derrick Favors is back from his injury.
The Hawks, if this deal does pull through, give themselves a solid backup point guard in Burke and also a scorer like Burks, who could help them out in case Kent Bazemore leaves in free agency, which wouldn’t be too surprising. Burks might be something of an obstacle (and why the Jazz wouldn’t mind getting rid of him), with a contract that runs through the 2018-2019 season worth $31.5 million, although it won’t be that heavy on the salary cap once the big raise comes.