On draft night, Chicago Bulls general manager Gar Forman talked about selecting the best player who fits with the team's system and culture.
Well, there's a growing culture of collecting collegiate champions. The Bulls chose Kentucky point guard Marquis Teague with the 29th pick of the first round. He started all 40 games as a freshman while helping lead the Wildcats to the national championship.
Teague joins Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Richard Hamilton as Bulls players who won national titles in college, while Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and John Lucas III reached the Final Four.
"We felt we got a real value with this pick," Forman said. "What we feel he gives us is another guy who can break defenses down, can get into the paint and make plays for himself and others. All the background we did on him, everybody said he's very, very competitive. He's a winner."
The Indianapolis native is the younger brother of Atlanta guard Jeff Teague, and their father, Shawn, played for Rick Pitino at Boston University.
Most fans were expecting the Bulls to focus on a shooting guard, but the same thing could have been said last year when they went with Marquette small forward Jimmy Butler. The Bulls believe that with Teague's age (19) and athleticism, he has a chance to grow into a valuable player.
"He's got extremely long arms (6-7 wingspan on a 6-2 frame)," Forman added. "He's got the speed and quickness. So he's certainly got the skills to be a very good defender."
Forman admitted the Bulls still need to address the point guard spot in free agency. They could keep C.J. Watson for another season at $3.7 million. More likely, they'll decline Watson's contract option and try to find a lower-priced veteran to help fill in for Rose early next season.