Jeff Teague visits the Bulls for a pre-draft workout
Point guard Teague packs scoring punch
"Everybody knows I can score the basketball; I did that pretty well in college," Teague said. "But I really don’t get an opportunity to be a pure point guard and run a team because you can’t play five-on-five in these workouts. That’s my biggest thing I’m trying to show." (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Should the Bulls decide to address possibly losing Ben Gordon and/or Kirk Hinrich this offseason, Wake Forest’s Jeff Teague could be a more than adequate solution. That is, if he’s still on the board when Chicago selects at No. 16.
Teague (6-3/185) joined Virginia Commonwealth’s Eric Maynor and four others for a pre-draft workout at the Berto Center on Tuesday. Teague, whose scoring ability perhaps separates him from some of the other guards in the draft, is projected to be a mid-first round selection. As a sophomore, he averaged 18.8 points, 3.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game. Pre-draft workouts are expected to come to an end this weekend, when a total of 11 prospects are slated to visit the Bulls.
Bulls.com: How did your workout go?
Jeff Teague: It was good. We all played really hard and it got physical. The three-on-three was fun, even though I got bumped in the knee again. That threw me off a little bit, but other than that, I was happy with how it went.
Bulls.com: How was it going up against Virginia Commonwealth’s Eric Maynor, who has been a regular workout partner during this process?
(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Teague: We’ve practically become best friends. I feel like I see him everyday. He’s a great player and he’s got a variety of floaters and shots that he makes. He’s going to be a good player in the league. I knew him a little bit before this process, saw him play against UCLA on TV in the tournament, but I didn’t have a chance to really look at his game until now. We’re both getting better and better every workout.
Bulls.com: Is there anything you’re trying to focus on during these workouts to showcase your strengths?
Teague: Everybody knows I can score the basketball; I did that pretty well in college. But I really don’t get an opportunity to be a pure point guard and run a team because you can’t play five-on-five in these workouts. That’s my biggest thing I’m trying to show. So I do what I can and I try and be vocal to show that I can be a leader.
Bulls.com: Talk about your decision to stay in the draft. What kind of factors did you consider before being certain you wanted go to pro?
Teague: I got injured during these workouts and I had to sit out for awhile. It gave me some time to really think about things, and I wondered what if I went back to school next year and had a worse injury. That could have affected my career, and right now I have this opportunity to come back from the injury and fulfill a dream of mine. So I decided to take that opportunity now.
Bulls.com: How did two seasons at Wake Forest and playing in the ACC prepare you for the transition to the NBA?
Teague: I played pretty well my freshman year, but it was my sophomore year that really helped me a lot. I had a great time at Wake Forest and it was a great coaching staff. You think about all the great guards in the ACC, especially Chris Paul coming out of Wake Forest, and that prepares you for the NBA. He came back and played with us a lot and that helped me with my overall game.
Bulls.com: You became Wake Forest's first All-American since 2004-05, when Chris Paul earned those honors. What kind of relationship do you have with Paul and what advice has he given you throughout this process?
Teague: Chris is one of my best friends. We text all the time. He told me what to expect with this whole process, and just to stay healthy, play hard, and do what I do. He said it’s going to be different from playing in a game because these workouts are all three-on-three or one-on-one. He told me just to focus on my game and the team concept.
Bulls.com: Is Paul who you model your game after?
Teague: After becoming more of a pure point guard my sophomore season, I did start modeling my game after him and I watched his tapes all the time. But when I first got to school and in high school my senior year, I had to be more of a scorer and that mentality carried over. But in my sophomore season I really tried to pick up more of the things he did on the court. He helped me a lot.
Bulls.com: Your former teammate at Wake Forest, James Johnson, is also in this year’s draft class and worked out for the Bulls on Monday. What’s the scouting report on him?
Teague: James can do it all. He can dribble, pass and he can shoot. He’s going to play. He’s going to be a really good player in the league and he’s going to play for a long time because he can do so many things. He has a big body, and it’s hard to find that coming straight out of college. To be as big as he is and still be athletic is impressive.
Bulls.com: At Wake Forest, you played alongside point guard Ishmael Smith to create one of the quickest backcourts in the country. How do you think you’d fit in with Derrick Rose?
Teague: He’s a great player, and he’s a pass first guard too. I think we’d be a good combination. I could come in and provide a little scoring punch with him being such a terrific passer. And when he needs a rest, I’ll be able to come in and run the point and do what I do.
Bulls.com:What do you know about the current Bulls team and how would you fit in?
Teague: This is my type of team, so I think I’d fit in well. They get up and down the floor and have some athletic players. They play fast, and of course, playing with Derrick Rose would make playing my game a lot easier. He takes so much pressure off of people, especially when you have another scorer on the team. When you factor in Joakim Noah, Tyrus Thomas and Brad Miller, those are skilled guys in the post. It’d be a perfect fit for me if I end up in Chicago.
Bulls Director of College Scouting Matt Lloyd on Jeff Teague:
“Jeff Teague is an extremely talented scoring point guard with really big hands and excellent length. His speed and quickness allow him to easily get into the lane and he’s a good enough shooter to be a threat beyond the NBA three-point line. He showed a lot of his quickness and speed in his workout with us, and he got into the paint versus bigger defenders who challenged him with a lot of toughness. Given his youth, he’s got a very bright future and developmental potential.”