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Bulls trade Marquis Teague to Nets for Tornike Shengelia

Updated: February 20, 2014 6:56AM



Point guard Marquis Teague still was wearing a Bulls uniform before the game Saturday against the 76ers, but he said it would be short-lived.

The Bulls traded Teague, a first-round pick (29th overall) in the 2012 draft, to the Nets for 6-9 small forward Tornike ‘‘Toko’’ Shengelia. Teague likely will be headed to his new team by Tuesday, when NBA offices reopen.

For Teague, it’s almost a relief to be starting over. His stay with the Bulls was tough at times.

Coach Tom Thibodeau’s hard-nosed style isn’t for everyone. Teague almost seemed to wilt under that pressure rather than embrace it the way Jimmy Butler and Tony Snell have.

“Yeah, it was tough at times,’’ Teague said. “It seemed I was trying to figure out what he wanted me to do on the floor, and sometimes I struggled with it. But I can’t worry about the past. I have to be ready for my next situation.’’

The other side of the coin, according to a source, is that Thibodeau didn’t believe Teague worked as hard as some of the other young players.

“Marquis is a good player; he’s a good young player,’’ Thibodeau said. “He’s had some good moments, and he’s had some moments that he could do better, but that’s to be expected. When you come into this league as young as he is, that’s what you’re going to get. I think he’s much further along today than he was when he was first drafted, and he’s done a good job overall.’’

Teague played in 48 games as a rookie last season, averaging 2.1 points and 1.3 assists and shooting 38 percent from the field.

He had an eye-opening summer league, which had the team believing that Teague could take over as Derrick Rose’s backup after Kirk Hinrich’s contract runs out at the end of the season. But a slow start in training camp that lasted into the regular season had the Bulls rethinking those plans.

When Rose was lost for the season Nov. 22, the Bulls had no choice but to acquire former Raptors guard D.J. Augustin off waivers.

Teague was sent to the NBA Development League to get some playing time the last few weeks. By the time he returned Wednesday, the writing was on the wall.

With the trade, the Bulls get out of the $1.12 million they owed Teague next season.

“This happens in this business, so I just got to move on and be ready,’’ Teague said. “It was time for something new.’’

Shengelia, a second-round pick (54th overall by the 76ers) in 2012, has played in 36 games in his career, averaging 1.5 points and one rebound and shooting 45 percent from the field.

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com



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