Editor's note: After being sent to the D-League earlier in the day, Marquis Teague was recalled by the Chicago Bulls after veteran backup Mike James underwent an MRI on a knee injury, according to a league source. James is expected to miss a week or two, allowing Teague another chance to play himself into coach Tom Thibodeau's good graces. The Chicago Tribune earlier reported news of Teague's recall.
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bulls announced Tuesday that they have assigned second-year guard Marquis Teague to Iowa Energy, their affiliate team in the NBA Development League.
The move comes as somewhat of a surprise given how many times Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has said over the years that he prefers for his players to stay in the NBA and practice with his team rather than go to the D-League. Teague, who was the 29th pick in the 2012 NBA draft, had fallen out of Thibodeau's rotation over the weekend as veteran Mike James took his spot backing up Kirk Hinrich.
"I think we knew when we drafted him he was a 19-year-old kid," Bulls general manager Gar Forman said Tuesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "He's 20 now. And I think we've seen potential; he's a talented kid, he had a really good summer. I thought he did some good things in the preseason. There hasn't been a lot of time for him. Tom and I discussed it and John (Paxson) over the weekend. And our thought was let's get him to our D-League affiliate and give him some time on the floor. But in our minds, it's not a long-term thing. And it's something we may do several times throughout the season. Send him down for a game or two, or three to get some time and then bring him back. But we still think there's a lot of potential there and we just want to see him continue to grow as a player."
When Derrick Rose went down with a torn medial meniscus in his right knee on Nov. 22, many believed Teague would assume the backup role behind Hinrich. Problem is, Teague struggled badly and looked uncomfortable running the offense. He is averaging 1.2 points per game this season.
Teague remains on the Bulls' roster during his stint with the Energy, but since the Bulls started the season with just 13 players on the roster, the organization could decide to sign another player or two and put one of them on the active roster.
The Bulls have to decide whether they want to pay the luxury tax in a season in which their championship aspirations disappeared when Rose went down.