A week or so ago I participated in a mock draft for Yahoo!'s blog Ball Don't Lie. There were no trades or picks bought. Just wait your turn and pick your man. I waited, saw what was available and took Jeff Teague. Here is what I said.
If Mike Woodson stays around for the foreseeable future, Jeff Teague has a game that our wonderful coach can fall in love with. He can shoot the three and pass the ball to Joe Johnson(notes).
However, under a normal coach or less Joe Johnson heavy offense, Teague represents a huge gamble. It is tough to place all one's eggs in an Acie Law/Jeff Teague basket. And the other option is resigning Mike Bibby(notes) with Teague being at worst a poor man's Flip Murray(notes) and, at best, an athletic upgrade to the point guard position. Nothing is certain and neither option inspires an onslaught of season ticket purchases.
Considering that Jeff Teague may have earned his draft position during the first 17 games of Wake Forrest's season and his production fell off by mid-January, the man is risky. But no player is a sure thing at 19. Shoot, BJ Mullens is going in the first round. And in Teague's case, those first 17 games were pretty dang good."
Now, I was not picking what I thought Rick Sund would pick. I did not study his draft history, psycho analyze his dreams, I just looked at who was available and took Teague. In that circumstance, he is who I wanted the Hawks to pick.
So the good news is the Hawks took Teague too. The bad news is a strong case could be made that Sund and company were playing by the same rules set forth by my mock draft. No trades, no moves, just wait your turn.
Can I be upset that Jeff Teague fell to the Hawks? Shoot no. He could be a great pick. The Hawks have not had a point guard that can drive the lane AND finish since Jason Terry (maybe). If Teague stayed in school and improved a bit, he probably would have been a top ten pick next year. Imagine if he stayed all four years like Acie Law. Jay Bilas' head may have exploded.
That being said can I be a tad disappointed that the guy I wanted Ty Lawson was only one pick away? Or that a rebounding machine whether he has zero knees or three knees went in the area of picks that normally get traded for cash. I think so.
Still, the ease at which it appeared the Hawks could have moved up and taken these players or others leads me to believe the Hawks got the guy they wanted (at least with the first pick). The Hawks brought Lawson in for a last second work out more because they knew he had the chance to fall to them and less because they were interested in moving up to get him. Teague was there guy, and for now, I can trust the GM on that one. He showed flashes of brilliance at Wake so to down play what could be will just put you squarely in negative nancy territory. And who wants that, after all, the draft is a time for irrational optimism right?
So does Teague's assists to turnover ratio scare me a bit? Yes. Have I heard he is a little too streaky? Maybe so. Is it going to be incredible nice to see an athlete in a Hawks uniform streak into the lane and finish at the hoop? You better believe it.