Marquis Teague became the final UK first-round NBA pick to sign his rookie deal.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Marquis Teague is officially a member of the Chicago Bulls – and he had to take one for the team to make it happen.
Teague, the former University of Kentucky point guard, became the 30th and last first-round pick from the 2012 draft to sign his NBA contract.
The hold-up wasn't all Teague's fault. The Bulls added several free-agent pieces during the off-season and were dealing with salary cap issues. Although it is standard practice for NBA rookies to earn 120 percent of the rookie salary scale, the Bulls offered Teague 100 percent of the scale.
When Teague did not perform well at the NBA Summer League, the team didn't budge from the scale number of $857,000. He could have explored a contract with a European team, but chose not to. Although he averaged better than 10 points per game in Las Vegas during July, Teague shot less than 30 percent. A deal at 120 percent of slot would have been worth an extra $171,000 the first season.
"There were times when the process was frustrating, and that's why I didn't want to drag out the process," Teague told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
"I played OK at summer league; I could've played better at summer league. That's why I want to work and do whatever coach (Tom Thibodeau) wants me to do."
According to Johnson, the contract jumps to 120 of scale for the following three seasons.