LEXINGTON, KY - APRIL 17: Marquis Teague of the Kentucky Wildcats talks with the media during the news conference in which he announced he will enter the NBA draft at Joe Craft Center on April 17, 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Author's Note: Today is the NBA Draft, or as I like to call it, Christmas in June. Here at SOV, I'll be writing semi-rational profiles for my three favorite prospects. Here's to hoping one or all of them is available when the Grizzlies are on the clock. After covering the token Euro, we're returning stateside for Kentucky's Marquis Teague.
19 years old, 6'2", 180 lbs., PG, Kentucky
Best Song for a Future Highlight Reel: "Get it Right Now"-Del the Funky Homosapien
What He Brings to the Table:Speed, speed, and more speed. Marquis Teague is lightning fast with a killer crossover and a great first step. On a purely physical level, he should have no problem competing at an NBA level. Fortunately, he's also incredibly skilled. He creates havoc when he gets into the lane, as he's excellent either getting to rim or dishing to an open teammate. Defensively, he takes advantage of his speed to prowl the passing lanes and create turnovers. However, he also has the tools to eventually become a solid individual defender.
What He Lacks: It's probable that he'll eventually become a deadeye shooter, but he's not there yet. He's also a bit turnover prone. While he's a more willing passer than his brother, you're definitely looking at a scoring point guard. There are questions about whether he'll be able to run an NBA-level offense.
Worst-Case Comparisons: Will Bynum (Draft Express)
Obligatory Highlight Reel
Why the Grizzlies Ought to Draft Him (for basketball reasons): Marquis fills two needs: he can play as a backup point guard when Mike Conley needs a breather and he'll probably improve his jumpshot enough to be a legitimate outside threat. Simply put, prospects with his athleticism and skill level generally aren't available to teams drafting in the late-first round.
Why the Grizzlies Ought to Draft Him (for non-basketball reasons): While no one seems to deny Teague's talent, the consensus among pundits is that he should've stayed in school in order to get more experience running the point. Now analysts have infamously short memories, but seriously, does no one remember that the exact same thing was said about his brother? I personally find this whole phenomenon fascinating, because as far as I can tell, Marquis is basically the same player as his brother except that his jumper isn't as consistent and, by my eyes, he's a better passer. However, it's worth noting that Marquis was more highly recruited coming out of high school and that Jeff waited until his sophomore year to declare. So it's possible that Marquis is farther along than his brother was at his age. Now his brother was the starting point on a playoff team. Are the GM's drafting in the mid-1st really dumb enough to pass on that? I sure hope so, because I'd take Teague in a heartbeat (I'd also take Evan Fournier and Tony Wroten, but if all 3 are available at #25 that's a problem I look forward to facing).