Jeff Teague‘s name continue to circulate in the NBA trade rumors mill. One trade that Atlanta should not do is send Teague to Orlando for Victor Oladipo.
Jeff Teague, whether we are willing to admit it or not, might end up the most highly coveted point guard that could end up being moved before the February 18th NBA trade deadline. Teague was an All-Star last season and has one more year left on his deal with Atlanta. Several teams have interest in the Hawks’ starting point guard for his composure, leadership, and his ability to take over games offensively in the fourth quarter.
While there are a handful of teams that have serious interest in Teague (Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks, etc.), one potential trade involving Jeff Teague that should not happen is to send him to the rival Orlando Magic for former No. 2 overall draft pick Victor Oladipo and another Magic player on a minimum salary.
For Orlando, this would stand as a great for the Magic, as Teague would provide the backcourt leadership former point guard and current head coach Scott Skiles would want at the position. Current starter Elfrid Payton is young and shows flashes of brilliance, but doesn’t tend to get a little panicky with the basketball in crunch-time situations.
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Pairing Teague with Magic star center Nikola Vucevic would create a dynamic pick-and-roll partnership that could catapult the Magic into the Eastern Conference Playoffs as soon as next season. The Orlando Magic have better shooters than people give them credit for (Evan Fournier, Channing Frye, Tobias Harris, Mario Hezonja), so perhaps they just need a point guard that can adequately get them the rock when they are open. For Orlando, getting Jeff Teague is worth it and makes sense.
However, is Victor Oladipo an answer for the Atlanta Hawks in return for Jeff Teague? While he could end up being the leader of the second unit as a sixth man who Atlanta doesn’t really have, I can’t say that he could play alongside new starting point guard Dennis Schroder in any capacity.
Both players are too ball dominant and have that his certain type of hot-headedness that could prove highly combustible in the Atlanta backcourt. Acquiring Victor Oladipo for Jeff Teague would certainly take away Tim Hardaway, Jr.’s playing time and could shake up the Hawks’ bench rotation too much for the team’s own good in the second half of the NBA season.
While it would be crazy not to consider that Oladipo has tremendous upside and could grow in Mike Budenholzer’s system, the potential clash of personalities and skill sets with Schroder and Oladipo could undermine what the Hawks are trying to build in Atlanta.
In essence, Oladipo may end up being the best asset the Hawks could get in return for Jeff Teague. He could end up being an All-Star player for Budenholzer and the Hawks if he fully buys into the player development system in place in Atlanta. Oladipo has a higher ceiling than any player Boston, Indiana, or New York could offer for Jeff Teague. No, the Knicks wouldn’t consider trading away stretch five Kristaps Porzingis for Jeff Teague.
While the Atlanta Hawks haven’t had the chemistry that they had last season when the won 60 games and played in the Eastern Conference Finals, the risk at this time outweighs the reward in brining in Victor Oladipo to the Atlanta Hawks situation in a trade for Jeff Teague.
I can’t see him and Dennis Schroder not butting heads at some point should they end up being teammates. If the Teague/Vucevic partnership in Orlando makes the Magic a relevant playoff team in 2016-17, that would make the deal even more painful for the Atlanta faithful.