Video: Teague, Graham Introduced As Hawks
Jeff Teague and Treveon Graham, who the Hawks acquired on Thursday via trade with Minnesota, will make their Hawks debuts on Saturday against the Pistons. Teague and Graham addressed the media prior to the game to discuss their expectations joining a new team and what they hope to bring to their new club:
"I'm open to [a leadership] role," Teague said. "That's what I envisioned when I came back here. The opportunity just to be a leader and the guys can lean on me a little bit, I can teach, help any way I can and also try to help produce any way I can."
"I come in and I play hard," Graham said. "Being one of the older players on this team... just teach what I've learned over the years and contribute any way I can on the court. Just come in and show the work ethic to everybody that's here."
Both men should be valuable additions to Atlanta's rotation as veterans capable of filling a variety of roles. Teague will help steady the second unit and take some stress of of Trae Young (Lloyd Pierce says he anticipates the pair sharing the floor for 10-15 minutes per game) while Graham's defensive versatility can help tie together bench units in more limited minutes.
Teague says he sees great potential in these young Hawks, and part of his role will be mentoring them on and off the floor and helping them realize the bright future the group has in store.
"I just think they've got a good, young nucleus," Teague said. "I just think those guys are really talented and can be really special. I guess a couple more veterans in the locker room, some guys they can lean on on the court, I think it can be a really special team."
Teague and Graham were preparing to leave for Indiana when they discovered they had been traded. They reacted with mild shock upon first hearing the news, but when Teague was thrilled to the city in which his NBA career began. "I was happy. I couldn't believe it," Teague said. "It's like my second home. I grew up here, basically."
Teague, who played the first seven years of his 11-year career in Atlanta, added that he had long been hoping to return to the Hawks later in his career, but that the move came sooner than he anticipated. "I was kind of plotting to get back here, believe it or not," he said. "It was always like a little plan, and it just came a little earlier than I thought."