RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Marquis TeaguePosted by EJacoby on June 15th, 2012
The 2012 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 28, in New York City. As we have done for the last several years, RTC’s team of writers (including Andrew Murawa, Kevin Doyle, Evan Jacoby, Matt Patton, and Danny Spewak) will provide comprehensive breakdowns of each of the 35 collegians most likely to hear his name called by David Stern in the first round on draft night. We’ll work backwards, starting with players who are projected near the end of the first round before getting into the lottery as June progresses.
Note: Click here for all published 2012 NBA Draft profiles.
Player Name: Marquis Teague
Height/Weight: 6’2” / 180 lbs.
NBA Position: Point Guard
Projected Draft Range: Mid- to Late First Round
Overview: Marquis Teague struggled with his decision-making for some of his freshman season, but he came on strong during the latter stage of the year to lead Kentucky to a National Championship as the team’s steady point guard. His greatest attribute is his blazing speed with the ball and an overall impressive set of physical tools for a point guard. The Wildcats really had no backup at the point, so Teague led UK in minutes played (32.6 MPG) while admirably handling the many responsibilities given to him on a team with several stars. Though turnovers were his biggest issue (2.7 TO per game), he also averaged 4.8 APG and made obvious improvements throughout the season in terms of his decisions. He had five or more turnovers in five of his first 25 games, but not once in any of his final (and more important) 15. Teague was really the Wildcats’ fifth offensive option on the floor, though he still contributed a solid 10.0 PPG through an array of drives and jumpers. He thrives in the open floor and also does well in isolation situations, which he displayed in the National Title game against Kansas by getting to the basket for several layups in the half court. His shot is a work in progress, proven by his shooting percentages — 41.2% from the field, 32.5% from three, and 71.4% from the line. He wasn’t a game-changing defender as a rookie and only averaged 0.9 steals, but his physical traits suggest he should become a solid perimeter defender. Though very raw in many aspects, Teague appears to be in a dead heat with Kendall Marshall and Tony Wroten as the second point guard to come off the board on draft night.
Will Translate to the NBA: Teague will enter the NBA as one of the fastest end-to-end players in the league, something that’s very valuable in the (usually) high-paced pro game. During Combine testing he finished top five among all players in the sprint and agility drills and had the third-highest vertical leap, proving once again his elite athletic ability. He’s very capable of breaking down defenders off the dribble in order to not only look to score but also find open teammates, which will be important as he plays with great players at his side in the NBA. Though his shot was inconsistent, he is capable of knocking down the three and shows easy mechanics that should allow him to improve in that area.
Needs Work: Teague was one-dimensional at times in the half court and struggled with over-dribbling as well as poor passing. He has a knack for flashy playmaking but doesn’t yet show ideal floor awareness for a point guard. He also had trouble finishing around defenders in the paint if he wasn’t able to blow by them straight to the rim. Teague’s shot must improve in all areas if he wants to be a trusted component in an NBA offense. He looks smooth on defense and has ideal physical tools but didn’t work particularly hard all the time, something he must improve against all the NBA’s elite point guards.
Comparison Players: Everything about Marquis Teague screams Ty Lawson. Though Teague is three inches taller, the comparison works for several other reasons, as both players are known for their blazing speed in transition and getting to the cup. Lawson was selected 18th overall in 2009, which is around the area Teague should land this year. Lawson had similar numbers (10.2 PPG, 5.6 APG, 2.2 TO) as a freshman at UNC compared to Teague at UK (10.0 PPG, 4.8 APG, 2.7 TO). Lawson has improved as a shooter in the NBA (and with two more years in college) after being a mediocre freshman shooter. Teague displays similar quickness and driving ability, and neither is known as a true pass-first PG with great floor awareness.
Best Case Scenario: Teague has much room to grow as a player and could develop into an intriguing point guard in time. Should his shooting and decision-making skills improve, Teague will have a fairly complete arsenal as a scoring point guard in the league. He’s a smooth ball player on both ends and could become a strong one-on-one defender if he really works hard at it. While he’ll likely never become an elite pass-first guard, Teague could certainly become a starting point guard in the league who can dictate the pace of the game and is a weapon to score.
Best NBA Fit: Teague needs to get drafted by a team that likes to play uptempo basketball or else he will be a wasted asset. The same applied for Lawson coming out of college, and he landed in the perfect situation with the Denver Nuggets. As a result, Lawson has become one of the Western Conference’s top point guards and Denver led the league in scoring last season with Lawson as the driving force. That’s the situation Teague hopes to land in. He will need time to develop and would be a great fit for the Orlando Magic at #19 to backup veteran Jameer Nelson. It would be fascinating if he went to the Atlanta Hawks at #23 to play alongside his brother, Jeff, as his backup.
*This post was contributed by RTC’s Evan Jacoby. He can be found on Twitter @evanJacoby.