The Bulls announced that they have assigned Marquis Teague to their D-League affiliate, the Iowa Energy.
The moves comes as a bit of a surprise, given the team’s lack of depth, including a thinning at the point guard spot with Derrick Rose being out for the season, leaving Kirk Hinrich as the starting guard and making 38 year old Mike James the de facto backup.
Teague has played in nine games this season, averaging 8.9 minutes in those contests.
It’s been clear that coach Tom Thibodeau doesn’t have a high amount of trust in the second-year point guard from Kentucky University, shown most recently when he gave James the backup minutes.
“You have to base it on performance, matchups, how the team functions,” Thibodeau told reporters. “So those are all things that you look at."
“Mike’s a pro and I know he always stays ready. It always works out for him, so he’s into the game, he lives in the gym. There’s a reason why he’s lasted this long in the league, so you look at what he did last year in Dallas and when he’s played this year for us, he’s played well.”
For Teague, the move will give him an opportunity to get on the floor, play, make mistakes without the fear of being pulled when he does – which is a consistent issue for him, even after having an impressive summer league, averaging 18.3 points and 4.8 assists.
For the long-term, this move makes sense for Teague's confidence, which will hopefully translate to better play for the Bulls. Short-term, the Bulls will have to be careful not to exhaust Hinrich (he played 53 minutes in Monday's triple-overtime loss to New Orleans) and be hopeful that James still can keep up with quicker backups.