The Decision on Jeff Teague

I'm going to take back a comment I made in another thread about Jeff Teague and his decision making. I said in that thread that Jeff still has the same decision making issues that he had when he came out of Wake Forest. After watching film and reading various breakdowns of Jeff's game from this past season, as well as looking at his efficiency stats compared to other point guards, it is beyond obvious that I was wrong. Jeff Teague still has decision making issues at times, but he has improved tremendously since he was a sophomore early entry into the 2009 NBA draft out of Wake Forest.

At Wake Forest, Jeff Teague was a guy who got by on his athleticism. He was a tremendous penetrating lead guard that dominated the ball. The extent of his playmaking ability was his ability to drive and kick. Of the guards that came out of that draft, Jeff lead them all in FTA/40 that season, and that was a testament to his ability to attack the lane aggressively. Jeff was a relatively poor perimeter shooter coming out. His biggest issue though was his decision making. He held a 1:1 assist-to-turnover ratio while at Wake Forest.

In his early time with the Hawks, Jeff had the same issues. He was sub par on the pick and roll. He lacked confidence in his ability to penetrate into the lane at will. He was very passive and deferred too much to his teammates. The playoff series against Chicago in 2011 was the first hint of what Jeff could eventually become. Going into his third season, Jeff improved in several aspects of his game, but his decision making was still lacking. He improved his efficiency numbers as a scorer in that season, but his AST% and TOV% were relatively stagnant from his first two seasons.

In 2012-2013 though, what we saw out of Jeff was a lot more consistency and definitive improvement in his decision making ability. He improved his AST% from around 24% to almost 37%. His USG% increased by over 3 points, yet was was able to maintain his shooting efficiency overall. Both of these are very good signs.

Here is a good link on Jeff's improvement as a playmaker as detailed the the author of the Hickory High blog:

I won't go into any details that are already in that post. Essentially, Jeff Teague has gone from a player who was completely clueless on the pick and roll as a young player to a player that has become above average in his ability to recognize things off the pick and roll. The potential of Jeff Teague and Al Horford as a pick and roll tandem going forward is immense, IMO.

The decision the Hawks have to make on Jeff this offseason is whether they go ahead and sign him to an extension, or if they sign him to his qualifying offer to hedge their bets on whether he will continue to show his upward trajectory. To look at what kind of contract Jeff could be looking at if he signs an extension, I decided to look at two players whose numbers were very close to Jeff's from this past season. Denver's Ty Lawson and Memphis's Mike Conley:

Mike Conley 0.549 TS%, 0.497 eFG%, 0.295 AST%, 0.151 TOV%, 0.30 FTA/FGA, 0.210 USG%

Ty Lawson 0.549 TS%, 0.505 eFG%, 0.302 AST%, 0.141 TOV%, 0.32 FTA/FGA, 0.222 USG%

Jeff Teague 0.543 TS%, 0.496 eFG%, 0.361 AST%, 0.176 TOV%, 0.23 FTA/FGA, 0.230 USG%

Ty Lawson signed a 4 year, $48 million extension recently. Mike Conley signed a 5 year, $40 million deal last year.

A FanPost expresses the opinion of the community member who wrote it and not that of the blog management.

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