The Boston Celtics lucked out by landing a reliable veteran free agent point guard in Jeff Teague who will back up Kemba Walker.
Teague is 32 years old and averaged 10.9 points and 5.2 assists per game last season playing for both the Minnesota Timberwolves and Atlanta Hawks. He adds immediate depth to the backcourt and gives the Celtics a dependable backup option to starting point guard Kemba Walker who is dealing with knee issues.
Playing very confidently, Teague is exceptionally great at both ends of the court. He can shoot and score against some of the best defenders in the league while also being able to facilitate the floor and be a leader on the court. When he’s in the zone, there aren’t many players who can guard him or stop his production.
Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens had some high praise for Teague back in 2015 when he was playing for the Hawks after the Celtics were defeated 105-91 at the TD Garden:
“I think you have to look and redefine who the superstars are with our own eyes every day. And I don’t know what qualifies as a superstar but I know this: nobody in the league can keep Jeff Teague in front of them. Nobody.” – Brad Stevens per The Athletic’s Jay King
Teague plays with fast-paced energy and is elusive with the ball in his hands, especially in and around the paint. Teague’s court awareness is high level and he knows where his teammates are at all times, giving him the opportunity to make crisp and clean passes to his teammates all over the court.
He is also a great transitional player. Teague can turn defense into offense and take it the distance for a score on the other end. His solid ability to defend a ball-handler gives the Celtics another great on-ball defender for the second unit especially considering Marcus Smart will start more games than not this season.
With Teague on the court, whether with the starting unit or the bench group, he has a respectable reputation around the league as a scorer that will require any opposing defense to cover him. He is shifty and agile on offense which adds a sense of unpredictability for a defender in regards to what Teague is going to do with the ball.
Jeff Teague’s offensive fit with the Boston Celtics
There were many times last season with the Timberwolves where it looked as if Teague was going to score quite easily against two defenders but he had the awareness to pass it out to a charging Karl-Anthony Towns for a more positive look. There were other times last season where Teague made passes that only his big man could get for an easy basket as well.
Teague plays well with offensive big men and has the chance to do so again for the Celtics with Daniel Theis, Robert Williams, and newly acquired Tristan Thompson. Teague also plays great out of the pick-and-roll with an efficient big man, as you can see in the first video below.
There aren’t many aspects of Teague’s overall game that won’t fit perfectly in Stevens’ system with the Boston Celtics. I previously wrote about how Rajon Rondo would have been an ideal free agent signing for the Celtics prior to him signing with the Hawks, but Teague will be just as great and possibly better with the current makeup of this team.
Entering his 12th season in the NBA, Teague has averaged 12.6 points and 5.8 assists per game throughout his career.