The Atlanta Hawks essentially did the same things that they have done over the past few years by being a middle-tier playoff team in the NBA, but failed to show up fully in the postseason and were eliminated in the first round. For Hawks fans, this season had to feel like a song that’s been played one too many times on the radio.
With Atlanta now looking towards their summer and the decisions that they have to make, though, it seems like they have an obvious and definite chance to change the way things have gone for them lately. They traded away Joe Johnson last off-season and now have the opportunity to part ways with Josh Smith, who will be an unrestricted free agent.
If the Hawks move on from Smith, which is what seems like the most likely and justifiable option at this point, they will be looking to focus the future of their team around Al Horford. However, the Hawks would be wise if they kept another piece of the puzzle, along with Horford, in Jeff Teague, who will become an unrestricted free agent this summer as well.
Teague is coming off the best season of his career in 2012-2013. In the 80 games that he played he averaged 14.6 points, 7.2 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. His points and assists averages were both career-highs for him. Teague also shot relatively efficiently for a guard, knocking down 45.1 percent of his shots and 35.9 percent of his threes.
The most enticing thing about Teague is the fact that he is still just 24 years old and still has a ton of upside. He’s already showing that he can be an effective starting point guard in this league and he still has time to garner more experience and grow. Considering that and the fact that the Hawks don’t have any salary cap worries, signing Teague this summer seems like a no-brainer.