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Bulls Draft Kentucky's Teague

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jun 29, 2012 3:40PM

The Bull selected point guard Marquis Teague from the University of Kentucky with the 29th pick in the first round of last night's NBA draft. As starting point guard for the NCAA Champion Wildcats, Teague averaged 10 points and 4.8 assists. Selected with the second to last pick in the first round, Gar Forman was apparently surprised that Teague would still be on the board and drafted him despite not working him out at the Berto Center.

“We feel we got a real value in this pick,” said Forman. “He’s another guy who can break defenses down, get in the paint and make plays for himself and others. He has great speed and quickness and a really, really high ceiling.”

At just 19 years old, Teague will be expected to fill some big shoes. With Derrick Rose expected to miss much of the 2012-13 season after rupturing his ACL, most believed the Bulls would focus on adding backcourt depth and they did. And with lots of uncertainty at point guard, Teague could end up playing significant minutes even if not tapped to start -- a longshot for a 19-year-old rookie. Just who Teague will team up with in the backcourt is a question mark.

Knowing they'll be without Rose and perhaps Luol Deng, who is expected to have surgery on his wrist following the London Summer Olympics, for much of next season, the team is trying to limit its exposure to the NBA's luxury tax by trimming back their payroll in a season where gaining the best record looks like a long shot at best.The team has to decide whether to exercise a $3 million option on C.J. Watson, and John Lucas III is an unrestricted free agent. It's also unclear whether swingmen Ronnie Brewer or Kyle Korver will return, as well.

Once Rose returns to action, the Bulls hope Teague can settle in as his backup for the next few years. His rookie pay scale will allow the Bulls more flexibility with regard to salary cap issues and the expected raises for big men Taj Gibson and Omer Asik.