Hawks add depth at guard with pick

ATLANTA --- The Atlanta Hawks beefed up their backcourt Thursday, selecting Wake Forest guard Jeff Teague with the 19th pick of the NBA Draft a few hours after acquiring Jamal Crawford in a trade with Golden State.


The 6-foot-2 Teague led Wake Forest in points (18.8) and assists (3.5) as a sophomore.

While Crawford is expected to contribute right away -- he averaged 19.7 points a game last season -- the wiry Teague knows he must beef up to be a consistent player in the NBA.

He's ready to get started.

"I have to get stronger. I know that," Teague said. "But I feel like my game is suited for the NBA."

Teague was the eighth point guard taken in a draft that was especially deep at that position. He's going to use that as motivation.

"Down the road, I think people are going to look back and say I was the best point guard taken in this draft," he said. "I know a lot of great ones were taken early ... but I want everyone to look back at this draft and say they passed on a great player in Jeff Teague, but the Hawks got me."

Teague was the second Wake Forest player taken in the first round. College teammate James Johnson went to Chicago with the No. 16 pick.

The Hawks, coming off their second consecutive trip to the playoffs and first postseason series victory since 1999, needed some insurance in the backcourt. Starting point guard Mike Bibby and key backup Flip Murray are both unrestricted free agents.

Atlanta hopes to re-sign both, which would allow them to bring along Teague more slowly.

"When you're picked at No. 19, it's tough to come in and get in the rotation right away," Hawks general manager Rick Sund conceded. "But this guy is a pretty good talent. If anyone can do it, it might be Jeff."

Teague looks forward to joining one of the NBA's youngest but most athletic teams, with players such as Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Marvin Williams and Al Horford.

"I love the way Josh Smith and those guys get up and down the court," Teague said.

BOBCATS: The Charlotte Bobcats are for sale and Michael Jordan is interested.

First, he has to put an ownership group together.

Jordan said Thursday night that he "would like to put together a team" that would buy the Bobcats from majority owner Bob Johnson.

Jordan bought a minority stake in 2006 and Johnson gave him the final say on all basketball decisions. Jordan said in February that he'd like to eventually gain majority control, but hadn't addressed the issue since the news in May that Johnson was seeking a buyer.



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