Jeff Teague

Report: Jeff Teague signs four-year, $32 million offer sheet with Bucks


The Bucks, led by their new coach Larry Drew (who just happened to be the coach in Atlanta last year), had been going hard at Jeff Teague, the Hawks’ restricted free agent point guard.

They got their man according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.

Atlanta Hawks restricted free-agent guard Jeff Teague has signed a four-year, $32 million offer sheet with the Milwaukee Bucks, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Hawks have three days to match the offer sheet or Teague will rejoin his old Hawks coach, Larry Drew, in Milwaukee.

There are some reports out of Milwaukee the offer sheet will be signed Thursday morning. The three-day clock starts when he signs the paper.

The Hawks and Bucks had spent days discussing sign-and-trade scenarios around Teague and Monta Ellis, or possibly Brandon Jennings. Nothing came of those and with Jennings signing an offer sheet a sign-and-trade is now off the table. The Bucks may need to renounce the rights to Joel Przybilla to make the math work.

This seems to spell the end of Jennings with the Bucks (unless the Hawks match the offer to Teague). Jennings had been a restricted free agent who reportedly wanted $12 million a year for four years from the Bucks, who balked at a smaller offer. The Bucks still have the rights to Jennings and could match an offer, if one comes in, but it’s not likely if they get Teague.

If you think Teague is a downgrade from Jennings, you haven’t watched a lot of them.

Jennings is certainly the more explosive and athletic player, but he doesn’t use that quickness to get into the lane as much as you would think and when he does he doesn’t finish well (Jennings shot just 43.1 percent in the paint last season). Teague seems to constantly be thinking not just reacting, so he can be hesitant and that can get him in trouble. But he assisted on a higher percentage of his teammates shots — Teague assisted on 36 percent of his teammates buckets while he was on the floor, Jennings 29 (Monta Ellis may have been a factor in Jenning’s numbers). Both guards are solid but not spectacular from three.

Teague is not a great defender, he’s pedestrian, but at least he tries. That puts him well ahead of Jennings.

There is not a ton of room between the two right now, but Teague is showing improvement while Jennings just seems to happily continue to live on bad shot choices. If a team thinks they can change that Jennings has the higher ceiling, but I’d lean Teague right now because I can see his improvement.

League executives, players wince watching this Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant
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Over the last few days, we’ve written in more detail about Kobe Bryant‘s shooting troubles. He’s jacking up threes his fastest pace ever, he can’t create space to get off clean shots, he’s hitting 31.1 percent overall and 19.5 percent from three. There are flashes of vintage Kobe, but they are fleeting (and mostly because poor shot choices are falling). Byron Scott is still in Kobe’s corner, saying they just need to get the veteran better looks.

However, talk to people around the league about Kobe and you hear some variation of the phrase “hard to watch.” After 20 seasons, more than 55,000 minutes on the court, and coming off two major injuries, Kobe clearly is not the same player everyone admired for so long.

Over at the Los Angeles Times Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner got a number of sources to wince about Kobe for a story — except nobody wanted their name attached to attacking a legend of the game.

“Man, I don’t want to see Kobe go out like this, looking this bad and not able to do what he once could do,” said a retired guard who faced Bryant. “He doesn’t have anything else to prove to anybody. He was one of the greatest. I know he’s owed that $25 million, but he should just walk away now. He ain’t got it anymore.”

“He’s one of the few players in NBA history to have gotten everything possible out of his body. Now his body has nothing left to give,” (an Eastern Conference executive) said. “But that’s life in the NBA, in professional sports. At some point, the body just can’t do it anymore and Kobe’s body can’t do it anymore.”

One West scout said Bryant looked “disinterested” at times. A current player in the West went a step further.

“Yeah, I’ve seen him play and it’s disgusting,” he said. “He’s one of the best of all time. But he really hasn’t played that much in the last two or three years. He’s got nothing left. It’s sad to watch because he used to be so great, and I mean great.”

Kobe is not going to walk away mid-season, and nobody wants an injury to force him out of the game.

But it’s hard to see how anything is going to dramatically change. Kobe may shoot a little better than his current but it’s not likely going to change in a meaningful way. Which will just make things hard to watch for a full season.

Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver

Manu Ginobili, Harrison Barnes, Tim Duncan
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The Spurs are 12-3 and comfortably in second place in the West, they have the best defense in the NBA allowing just 93.8 points per 100 possessions, and they have a top-10 offense to go with it.

So, time to start making sure guys are rested.

That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.

Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.

What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.

Brandon Armstrong impersonates Ray Allen (video)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Ray Allen is retired-ish, but he’ll always be running through screens – in our mind and in this video.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry

The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.