Jeff Teague was all but committed to Milwaukee.
That was until Atlanta unexpectedly matched the four-year, $32 million dollar offer he received from the Bucks.
The Hawks pushed it to the 3-day limit before ultimately deciding to bring Teague back and keep him from re-uniting with Larry Drew up in Cream City.
“I really didn’t think the Hawks would match it,” Teague told RealGM. “I was definitely prepared to go to Milwaukee. I was excited to work with their head coaching staff. Possibly playing for [Drew] again, it was big. I have a great relationship with him.”
For Teague, however, it was not meant to be. Hawks GM Danny Ferry and new coach Mike Budenholzer called the 25-year old late Saturday afternoon to let him know the team would be matching his offer.
At first, it seemed as if Teague needed time to process the information. After all, his mind was wrapped around the prospect of playing in Milwaukee. However, Teague quickly collected himself for the media and spoke in a way that has to make Hawks fans smile.
“I mean, I understand it’s a business,” Teague said. “I don’t pay attention to it, even if it might be difficult. I’m just glad I’m part of the Atlanta Hawks, glad to be back in the city I love. I love Atlanta: great people, great fans.”
Teague has certainly made a name for himself as a cornerstone of sorts for a very solid Hawks team. The team’s one big move this off-season was bringing in Paul Millsap to try and make up for a bit of the slack that Josh Smith left when he departed for Detroit.
Millsap is a very skilled offensive player with a polished post game and one of the league’s better rebounders. He should help the team bulk up their toughness a bit and give Teague a reliable option down low that Smith often chose not to be.
Millsap met Teague in Atlanta on Monday night after the Hawks officially announced they would be matching Milwaukee’s offer sheet.
Teague understands that at this juncture, building a strong relationship with coach Budenholzer is of primary importance. Budenholzer is a known “point-guard coach” and Teague knows that after over a decade of working with Tony Parker, one of the NBA’s best PG’s, coach Bud has earned all the credibility in the world. They have reportedly already been communicating back-and-forth since Teague was officially re-signed, and Budenholzer is working on a scheme to allow Teague to flourish with his passing and scoring abilities.
“I’m excited about coach Bud,” Teague told RealGM. “We’re developing a relationship right now. He’s a really good guy, and a lot of people have been telling me he’s a great coach. I’m excited to work with him.”