I recently decided to do a little stat digging around PGs. This started when I started to wonder if the Jazz would make a big offer to Brandon Jennings this offseason. After looking, I decided I hate that. So much.
Having been disappointed with what the numbers I saw from Jennings, I decided to browse around the league to see where other potentially available PGs are from a stat perspective. When I have heard the list of realistically available PGs for the Jazz, It seems to be mostly Jennings, Udrih, Calderon (though now I can't remember if he is a free agent or just tradeable), Vazquez, and Teague. For some reason I disregarded Teague as an option as soon as I heard his name. This changed after doing some stat digging.
I sorted stats a variety of ways to asses the top PGs in the league. I decided Assist % showed the point guards who seem to have the most natural ability to find and facilitate teammates. Other stats, like assist/TO ratio, had the occasional top PG but also many 2nd or even 3rd tier players at the top. Filtering for players who had played at least 35 games this season, and sorting by best assist %, I saw some predictable names at the top of this list, Rondo and Chris Paul.
The next two names, however, were Vazquez and Calderon (this is from NBA.com by the way). Wall, Rubio, Westbrook, Parker, Holiday, and D-Will were next on the list, unsurprisingly. Again, the next two names surprised me a bit. 11 and 12 on that list were Tinsley and Teague (followed by LeBron). From there, the assist %'s of these players falls quite a bit under 35%. The most assist minded PGs are above, or near, 40%, while Tinsley and Teague are right around 35%.
This was intriguing to me. To have a younger, more athletic, better shooting, faster paced, more turnover conscious version of Tinsley is quite appealing to me. Teague's numbers seem to describe that player.
Vazquez has great assist percentages, but is much slower, and not as good true shooting % as Teague.
Calderon (as noted by many a SLC dunker) also has great assist percentages, he is a great shooter, and his assist to turnover number is off the charts (highest in the league actually, and the only one close to him who is also very high in assist % is Chris Paul). Admittedly, I would enjoy seeing him play Jazz basketball.
However, both Vazquez and Calderon have two fatal flaws when being compared to Teague. Age and defense. Seriously their defense is awful. Bad, I mean real bad. Hey everyone come see how bad they look: Calderon's defensive rating is over 105. Vazquez's is over 108. By comparison, Mo Williams is also around 105, and Tinsley is 102. Teague is 101. I think I speak for many when I say I have had enough of old, defensively terrible guards in recent years. Teague is 24 years old.
I choose Teague. He is averaging over 14 ppg and over 7 apg this year.
By front loading an offer to Teague and trying to dissuade ATL from matching (think Portland "toxic" offers), the Jazz add another young piece to the mix and potentially allow themselves to trade one of their first round picks this year or use one to take a risk on another PG (or both) to play behind Teague for a couple years. The problem here is that ATL is also in a great financial situation going forward, so they may match anything that isn't outrageous. Though I don't know how high they are on him. Front loading also will help when the FO extends the C4, and it uses cap room when they have it and lowers the burden a few years down the road when $ may be a bigger issue.
If the Jazz make this signing and add a number one scoring option (Pau Gasol?), I think we will all be very happy fans for years to come. This also seems to fit the FO's win now and rebuild at the same time strategy.
According to NBA.com's efficiency rating, Teague is the 22nd most efficient guard in the league. Other notable guards: 3. CP, 7. Parker, 8. Rondo, 13. Vazquez, 23. Lowry, 28. Calderon, 31. Lin, 32. Rubio, 41. Mo
i realized after posting that Nba.com has Jose Calderon with Tor. and Jose Calderon with Det. as two different people. The first is the one I mentioned above. The latter has a worse assist percentage than Teague and his defense and offensive ratings are worse than when he was with TOR.
Teague has take. Over 50% of his shots this year at the rim and 25% from 3. Compare that to Mo who takes almost 30% from 3 and 26% at the rim. Teague is making about 36% of his threes.