The Atlanta Hawks matched the Milwaukee Bucks four year, 32 million dollar offer sheet on Jeff Teague on Saturday afternoon. On Monday, Jeff Teague arrived in Las Vegas to talk with the Hawks brass, get a feel for the new coaching staff, and get a look at the Summer League team. I was able to have a long conversation with Jeff, who was uncharacteristically talkative, about a number of topics including the business of basketball, the new cast of players, rejoining Al Horford and Kyle Korver, and Dennis Schröder.
When you talked with Danny, I know you said you had wanted an offer from them, did they explain maybe why they didn't offer you or why they waited for you to get an offer from someone else?
No, we just understand it's a business, you know, it's a process, and I knew that being a restricted free agent that they had my rights and I understood that. It's a business at the end of the day. We're both professionals and we understand, we both embraced each other today and talked about it, and I'm excited to be back in Atlanta.
There are a lot of changing pieces, a lot of new faces like Paul Millsap, have you been able to talk to him at all and what are you looking forward to with these guys?
I haven't gotten a chance to speak to him, but I'm excited to meet him. He's a great player, he played well against us plenty of times in Atlanta, so I'm excited to work with him. I talked to Al and Lou a lot and me and Al became real close over this process, and he really wanted me to come back to Atlanta and I'm excited to be back with him. That's my pick-and-pop guy, and I guess you could say we've made each other a lot of money together.
I know that, I saw [Al] tweet at you that he's happy to see you back. I joked that he was just happy to still know somebody in the locker room.
Man, I know. There's so many new faces, but I'm excited man. It's a great opportunity, right now we building, and I'm excited to be a part of it.
When you look at these young guys, Dennis [Schröder] is coming in, he's also a point guard, what do you see in his game and where do you think he can compliment your game, being that he'll probably be your backup?
I see a lot of him in me, my rookie year. A lot of confidence, you know, I just want to help him. It's a totally different animal than Summer League. I felt the same way coming in, you know, confident and he's very confident and I love that about him. I just pulled him to the side and told him if you ever have any questions, if you ever need any help I'm here. I play your position, I've been in your shoes, I know the pressures on and you want to go play well in Summer League. I told him just go out there, be comfortable, and play your game.
You got Kyle back, you happy to have your spot-up partner out there?
Aw man, you can't go home without Kyle. So many shots, so many big plays out of him. I'm excited to be back with him. He text me to congratulate me, I was excited. I congratulated him on the deal he got.
I saw you in there going over the offense with Quin [Snyder]. Are you getting a quick crash course?
A little bit, he wants me to run a couple plays [in practice]. I'm a little nervous, I'm not a real talkative guy, you know, only in the locker room with the guys. I don' t know these guys that well yet, so hopefully I'm not too hard on 'em.
How much do you know about Coach Bud's offense and how ready are you to get in there and get playing in the system?
I know if it's anything like San Antonio, they'll have you running off all kinds of screens with Tony Parker, and that's not fun to guard against any day. I'm excited, I feel like the move the ball really well. I watched the first Summer League games and I see John [Jenkins] got a lot of backdoor cuts and things like that. So, a lot of movement, they play together, and I'm excited about that.
You and Al are going to be asked to slide in that Tony Parker/Tim Duncan role, how excited are you about running that pick-and-pop/pick-and-roll with him?
That's our thing, me and Al pick-and-pop. I'm excited, I always loved playing with Al and this is a new opportunity for both of us to step our games up to another level and see what happens.