Still no word on what Rick Sund will do with Woody. Rumblings suggest it doesn’t look good for him, but you never know, so my Woody Watch continues.
Teague was a topic at locker clean-out day for the Hawks. During exit interviews, Woody told Bibby that next season will be Teague’s time.
“He’s getting older now,” Woody said of Bibby. “He might have taken us as far as he can take us. Teague, we probably have to give him first crack to see if he can do the job [next season].”
Woody said Bibby took the news well: “Mike is always about winning. He is the ultimate pro. He knows the dynamics of a team. He know he’s getting older. That’s no knock on him. Mike Bibby has had a great career. And make no mistake about it, we wouldn’t have gotten this far without Mike Bibby.”
Even if Woody’s not the coach next season, you can be sure the next guy will make Teague’s development a priority. It’s become a focus for the franchise, with good reason: Bibby is set to make $5.6 million next season, a hefty sum for a backup, but much more palatable if your starter still is making rookie scale ($1.5 million for Teague).
Read between the lines and it’s clear ASG’s Michael Gearon Jr. thinks Woody should have made it Teague’s time this season. Actually, you don’t even really have to read between the lines.
“He has extraordinary talent and is capable of producing now,” Gearon said of Teague.
Also: “Teague has a ton of talent, I would have loved to see him play more this year.”
I ‘m still not convinced that would have made a big difference for this season. Sure, 15-18 consistent minutes per game for a point guard who can stay in front of people would have helped, but the rest of Teague’s game is still pretty raw. Maybe I’m wrong about that.
But either way a long view was necessary here because getting ‘Rook more time this season definitely would have helped the team for next season, when the Hawks may need him for big minutes. From Gearon’s comments you can see management clearly was on board with that plan so Woody had the support to take a few short-term lumps to get ‘Rook ready.
Summer league should be good for Teague, though the comp can vary widely in those games. He will be one of the best guys out there, he’ll get lots of run and he should gain some confidence. More importantly, my plan is to let my bosses know how important this story will be so I can get a work trip to Vegas.