If the Utah Jazz and George Hill fail to come to an agreement and if Utah decides that replacing him from the outside rather than turning the point guard reins over to Dante Exum is the best option, then free agent Jeff Teague could be a nice addition. Interestingly enough, the Jazz could have likely traded for him last season given that their pick that netted them George Hill went straight to the Hawks, but instead Teague ended up as a Pacer.
In some ways, he had a phenomenal year in Indiana as he put up a solid 15.3 points per game and a career-high 7.8 assists, but his efficiency both from the field and from deep was down. He’s also not as good defensively as Hill, but one clear advantage he has over Utah’s current point guard that would certainly be music to Jazz fans’ ears is that Teague has been extremely durable during his career.
Teague suited up and started all 82 games last year and has played no fewer than 73 games over each of the past five seasons. That would certainly be a nice change of pace for the Jazz. He’s an excellent playmaker, a better passer than Hill and despite what his points per game in 2016-17 would suggest, a more aggressive attacker and finisher. Much like Hill’s scoring figures did this past year, I would expect Teague’s to take a major jump if he came to Utah next season.
It will be interesting to see what happens with Teague this offseason, though. He was initially excited to play for his hometown Indiana team and all indications are that the Pacers would like to re-sign him.
However, this past season was a turbulent year for the Pacers in several ways and with Paul George rumored to be looking to leave for greener pastures, Indiana might be looking to make changes to try to convince him to stay, or Teague may want to avoid the drama himself and look to take advantage of his unrestricted free agency. If he does that, he’d be hard-pressed to find a better landing place than the up-and-coming Jazz.
Of course looking at free agent point guards is a bit of an interesting situation for Utah until Hill’s contract situation is resolved and if the Jazz throw money at him, it won’t make sense to pursue a starting level point guard of Teague’s ability. However, if the Jazz decide to let Hill walk or if Hill demands more money than Utah is willing to spend while Teague can be bought at a more reasonable price, he wouldn’t be a bad replacement by any means.