Reports: Wolves Sign Jeff Teague to 3-year, $57 Million Deal

A couple hours after it was reported that Ricky Rubio would be traded to Utah, reports started surfacing that they had already found their replacement.

Right as the midnight (eastern) deadline hit, Woj (of ESPN) reported what had  been floating around for the past few hours: Jeff Teague is coming to Minnesota on a 3-year, $57 million deal.

Teague, 29, had somewhat of a resurgence in Indiana last year, where he put up 15.3 points, 7.8 assists, and shot 36 percent from the 3-point line. This all came after a rough follow-up to a 2015 All-Star game in his last year with the Hawks.

While iffy defensively, Teague is a good scorer/shooter in rhythm, and a solid passer. His spot-up shooting will be badly needed in an offense surely to be centered around the workings of Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Ultimately, taking him over Ricky Rubio is a controversial move, but his skillset fits more with what Tom Thibodeau envisions for his team.

One major sign in the right direction for the Wolves, as pointed out on Twitter by FanBuzz’s Bo Churney, Teague is one of just 5 players to average at least 15 points, 7 assists, and have a True Shooting Percentage of at least .550.

Good stuff. We’ll have plenty of time to see how he fits in with his new teammates in Minnesota.

We’ll have more free agency news as it comes in.

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12 Responsesso far.

  1. Mebert says:

    Any time you can pay an extra 8 million a year to downgrade at point guard you have to take it.

    • In other news, David Kahn and Kevin McHale named assistant GMs for the Wolves.

    • gjk says:

      Rubio will make $14.3 mil next season. Teague’s contract averages $19 mil a season, which likely means he’ll be around $18 mil next season. Where did you learn math?

      • Mebert says:

        Yup, I mistakenly thought Rubio made twelve and used some hyperbole. Good thing you are here or there would be some serious consequences.

        In no way is the overall point of spending more for a lesser player still a valid criticism of that signing, all thanks to your vigilance.

        Thank you local hero for saving the comments section.

        • gjk says:

          Yup, only a person who wants to be seen as a “hero” would find a $4 million difference worth pointing out. Paying $8 million more would’ve meant missing out on a good bench player, while paying $4 million more basically means having to settle for a lesser version of that player. Thanks for putting the time in to reply to this and not into looking up something that would’ve taken less.

          • Mebert says:

            You don’t need to sell me man. I for one feel better knowing you are out there patrolling comments sections.

            You could have corrected the error without being a dick, but that would take away from what makes you so special. Keep fighting the good fight.

  2. pyrrol says:

    Kinda funny how we replaced Rubio, so fast it makes heads spin, with such an unlikeable personality. We replaced one of the most likeable players in the NBA with a pretty hard to like, dirty player. I know that’s not what it’s about–it’s about winning. But it doesn’t help.

    That’s not to say Teague is a bad player, or even a bad guy (but I really do consider him a dirty player). We filled the void of Rubio with something that will keep the team competitive. But after taking the league by storm and having everyone impressed by how wily the Wolves are (!) Thibs and Layden now look less than brilliant again. Teague is about the same level of player Rubio is. He’s a better scorer and much better shooter, but less good at everything else. He’s older. He’s quite a bit more expensive. Some argue that he fits this team better. Only in that we have a bad three point shooting lineup. Teague is good in that he shores up that a bit, but he’s higher usage than Rubio and doesn’t make guys better in that same way. Or have a magic sparkle to his game… So while this fills a shooting need for the starters, it also begs the question–what is going to give as far as usage goes? How will the chemistry work here? Without looking up numbers, I can say that KAT, Wiggins, Butler, and Teague are all high usage guys used to getting their takes. We could have used an elite distributor and D helper at point as much as a guy who can shoot threes. But we gave that away so we could buy something on the market that’s more expensive. So… It’s not a great move. But we’ll still probably be OK. I do wonder how much we can fill out the roster with remaining monies. I’m too tired to try to look up budgeting things. Looking less objectively, emotionally I hate the move. I wanted to see Rubio on this team badly. And I’m just flat out going to miss the hell out of the guy and being able to watch him all the time and on my team. I might not be so militant about catching every game (I think I missed watching about 3 last year) next season…

    • Mebert says:

      Teague shoots 36% from 3. Better than Rubio, but still below league average. Even in the hopes of increasing spring this was a bad call.

    • GG says:

      Question for you pyrrol (or gjk)… I’m wondering whether either KAT or Butler, as the new faces of the franchise, had a say or were informed/consulted about Ricky’s potential departure before the move took place??

  3. pyrrol says:

    Also, Minnesota moms will be 72.4% less likely to watch Wolves games next season.

  4. gjk says:

    Glass half-full observations: Teague functioned well in the Spurs-like system of the Hawks, and it’s clear the Wolves are trying for an offense less reliant on a PG; 12 % points shooting at the rim in his career; besides his rookie season, he has one season from 3 that’s worse than Rubio’s career season from there, and he got to 40% 2 seasons ago; he’s played in 66 playoff games and is the only current Wolf to have played in a conference finals.

    Half-empty: worse passer; much worse defender; seemed to get worked by Rubio every time he played the Wolves; more expensive; shorter (in height and wingspan); older; his FG% at the rim has dropped notably the last 2 seasons, and he shot from that range a lot less last season; his “better jump shooting” is basically 2-4 makes per 100 shots.

    It’s not just shot spacing that improves offenses; it’s the passing and moving a defense from side-to-side that can separate the best offenses from the worse ones. If their offense gets choked off in the playoffs because no one can pass, or the other team targets Teague on defense and exploits him mercilessly, those are also huge problems.

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