Trade for Marquis Teague all about flexibility

Marquis Teague,DJ Augustin
Marquis Teague. (AP)
Marquis Teague,DJ Augustin
The Nets have traded for Bulls guard Marquis Teague. (AP)

The Brooklyn Nets have completed two trades in principle, sending away Tornike Shengelia and Tyshawn Taylor to the Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Pelicans, acquiring a conditional second-round draft pick and Chicago Bulls guard Marquis Teague. The trade will not be official until league offices open this week.

Teague will slide seamlessly into Taylor’s warm seat on the bench. The 20-year-old Teague has some upside, in that he’s 20 years old and in the NBA. But it ends there: Teague has been abhorrent in the NBA this season, shooting a putrid 24.2 percent from the field and producing a player efficiency rating of 0.2. That’s not that far off from his rookie season, either.

Teague struggled under Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, and was better in the D-League, averaging 12 points and 4.8 assists per game on 46.2 percent shooting in eight D-League games. But those still aren’t the type of numbers that earn you an NBA spot: just look at Tyshawn Taylor, who produced numbers comparable to NBA Russell Westbrook in the D-League.

Though the Nets may have some interest in developing Teague, this trade is all about flexibility. It saves the team about $2.5 million in luxury tax savings this season (not including the cash they sent to the Pelicans to balance the deal), but the Nets reportedly sent roughly $1 million to New Orleans to facilitate the Taylor deal, and the money they’ve committed to Teague is a little under $200,000 more than they’d spend on a veteran’s minimum in 2014-15.

The Nets are projected to be in a lower tax bracket next season with multiple salaries coming off the books and an increased luxury tax threshold, a league source confirmed to The Brooklyn Game. So they’ll save some amount of money by taking on Teague’s contract.

But more importantly, the trade takes Shengelia and Taylor off their roster while only adding one player and one draft pick in return. That means they’ll have an open roster spot, which allows them allowing them to outright sign or swallow a tradable contract into their Disabled Player Exception.

That doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily use it, but the trade gives them the flexibility they need to do so, while giving them an additional draft pick.

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