2013 NBA Free Agency: Atlanta Hawks Make Correct Decision Going With Jeff Teague Over Brandon Jennings

By Ryan Heckman


Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

This summer has been nearly disastrous for the Atlanta Hawks. Losing out on Dwight Howard and the likes of other top free agents such as Andre Iguodala and their own Josh Smith has hurt their plans for 2013, but they have managed to salvage one of the more important pieces to their core.

Point guard Jeff Teague had received an offer from the Milwaukee Bucks for four years and $32 million in which the Hawks decided to match. Atlanta had also considered bringing in Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings instead, maybe for a possible sign-and-trade, but wound up retaining Teague.

For the Hawks, this was the best decision. Teague has two important parts of the stat sheet that stand out over Jennings.

First, Teague shoots the ball at a much higher percentage. Though he averaged about three points less than Jennings last season, he shot the ball at at 45.1 percent versus Jennings’ 39.9 percent. jennings also shot the ball almost 16 times per game — too much to be called a true point guard.

Secondly, Teague put up more assists last year than Jennings at 7.2 versus 6.5 which essentially wipes out the small margin in the turnover differential in which Teague averages just a small percentage more.

But, the Hawks need somebody to facilitate at the point guard position. If you cannot get the ball to a guy like Kyle Korver at an efficient rate, you won’t survive on that team. Jennings not only averages less assists, but again, more total shots per game.

In the end, neither point guard is a top guy in the NBA at his position, but Teague was the better choice long-term. Jennings has a reputation about him that seems to demand a lot more of him in respect to proving his worth to teams around the league. Teague has been consistent in what he does and that’s a huge reason why they brought him back.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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