Weeks before the trade deadline, things are already cooking. Jeff Teague is headed to the Hawks for Allen Crabbe and here’s how everyone did.
The trade deadline isn’t until the first week in February, but the Atlanta Hawks and Minnesota Timberwolves are already making moves. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has reported the Timberwolves have agreed to send point guard Jeff Teague and wing Treveon Graham to the Hawks in exchange for Allen Crabbe.
Here’s what the deal means for each team.
The Hawks have one of the worst records in the NBA and no immediate aspirations for contention, meaning there’s really nothing to lose here. Crabbe has been a bit player in the rotation and largely ineffective. His primary value is as an outside shooter but he’s hit just 32.3 percent of his 3-point attempts this season, and he’s not doing anything inside the arc either.
Teague will be a back-up for Trae Young and provide some offensive value but he doesn’t really move the needle in any particular direction. However, he’s an expiring contract that can either clear space this summer or potentially be repackaged in another deal closer to the deadline. Graham is another expiring contract who might not be with the team beyond this season. He’s young and has potential as a wing defender but he’s an offensive disaster and the Hawks rotation is already crowded on the wings.
All in all, it’s a low-risk, low-reward move that perhaps sets the table for something else down the road.
Like Teague and Graham, Crabbe is an expiring contract so Minnesota hasn’t really done anything here that creates more financial flexibility for themselves. Teague wasn’t a part of the team’s long-term plans and wasn’t doing much to help them win games this season, but it does create an interesting vacuum at point guard for the team over the rest of the season.
Teague has played the majority of point guard minutes this season. Shabazz Napier is the only other true point guard on the roster but he’s not a long-term starter, at least not if the Timberwolves have designs on morphing into a contender. The Timberwolves could be setting themselves up for some bigger moves at the deadline but it could also be an opportunity for Jarrett Culver to get more chances as a primary ball-handler.
The Timberwolves’ rookie got off to a slow start but he’s leading the team in scoring over the past nine games and has been more active creating for himself and others. It’s unclear where this moves the Timberwolves but it’s unclear where they’re trying to get to anyway.