Cubs

Bulls select PG Teague with the 29th pick in the draft

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Bulls select PG Teague with the 29th pick in the draft

By all accounts, the Bulls were going to pick a shooter or wing player, maybe even a combo guard in the 2012 NBA Draft. Instead, they went with a more traditional point guard, Kentuckys Marquis Teague, with the 29th overall selection Thursday evening.
The 6-foot-2 Teague was the starting point guard on the NCAA champion Wildcats in his lone college season, averaging 10 points and 4.8 assists per game. While many observers describe his freshman-year performance as inconsistent, he certainly improved as the season waned on.
The younger brother of Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, the Indianapolis native is as an explosive athlete who thrives in an up-tempo setting, though his outside shooting is an area that could use improvement. Although Teague shares many physical attributesand a college coach, John Calipariwith Derrick Rose, its unlikely that hell be expected to step in as a starter.
But while the Bulls will pursue a veteran free-agent point guard, Teague was drafted with the idea that he could contribute as a rookie in mind. Teague wasnt necessarily the Bulls top targetaccording to a source, they had zeroed in on Vanderbilt sharpshooter John Jenkins, who ended up going 23rd to the Hawks, where hell play with Teagues brotherbut its reasonable to say that Teagues upside convinced them that his value was too much to pass up.
Whether Teague blossoms into a star or is a career rotation playerthe latter is the expectation for many of the other players who were still on the board at No. 29, such as his Kentucky teammate Doron Lamb, Kansas point guard Tyshawn Taylor and other rumored Bulls targetsremains to be seen, but the fact that with his athleticism alone, he helps the Bulls keeps up with upper-echelon teams like Miami and Oklahoma City in the NBAs arms race justifies his selection. As long as he isnt expected to emulate Rose, is put in position to use his strengths and works diligently to improve his weaknesses, theres no reason Teague cant be successful in Chicago.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jon Lester struggles against the division-rival Cardinals

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jon Lester struggles against the division-rival Cardinals

It was a tough day for the North Siders.

The Cubs got obliterated by the Cardinals as Matt Carpenter had a three-homer, two-double day. Ben Finfer, Seth Gruen and Maggie Hendricks join David Kaplan on the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast to talk about the blowout.

Was Jon Lester due for this kind of terrible outing? And do the Cubs have enough to swing a big trade before the deadline?

Plus, the panel discusses Matt Nagy’s first training camp practice in the rain and Roquan Smith’s absence in Bourbonnais.

You can listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Could Bears improve and still lose ground? The MMQB's Albert Breer weighs in on tough NFC North

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Could Bears improve and still lose ground? The MMQB's Albert Breer weighs in on tough NFC North

NBC Sports Chicago’s John "Moon" Mullin talked with The MMQB's Albert Breer, who shared his thoughts on where the Bears stand — and if they’ll be able to compete — in a highly competitive NFC North.

Moon: The Bears have made upgrades, but they’re in the NFC North and not many divisions are tougher, given the strength at quarterbacks.

Breer: Yes. You look at the other three teams, and they all very much believe they’re in a window for winning a championship. The Packers are going through some changes, but they’ve gotten Mike Pettine in there as defensive coordinator and a new general manager who was aggressive on draft day. I know that internally they feel that’s going to give them a boost, and bringing Aaron Rodgers back obviously is the biggest thing of all.

Minnesota, all the things they did this offseason, signing (quarterback) Kirk Cousins, (defensive lineman) Sheldon Richardson, and they were knocking on the door last year.

The Lions have been building for two years under (general manager) Bob Quinn and (new coach) Matt Patricia, who lines right up with the general manager — the two of them worked together in New England. They really believe that Matthew Stafford is ready to take the sort of jump that Matt Ryan made in Atlanta a few years ago, where you see that mid-career breakthrough from a quarterback that we see sometimes now.

It’s one of the toughest divisions in football, and every team in the division believes that it’s in the position to contend right now.

Moon: We didn’t see a lot of Mitch Trubisky — 12 games — so it sounds possible that the Bears could improve and still lose ground.

Breer: The Lions were pretty good last year. The Vikings were in the NFC Championship game. And who knows where the Packers would’ve been if Rodgers hadn’t broken his collarbone. The biggest change is that Aaron Rodgers will be back, and that’s the best player in the league. It was a really good division last year, and you’re adding back in a Hall of Fame quarterback.

As far as the Bears, there’s going to be questions where the organization is going. It’s been seven years since they were in the playoffs. I think they certainly got the coach hire right. This is a guy who I know other organizations liked quite a bit and was going to be a head coach sooner or later.

And I think he matches up well with Mitch. I think the Bears are in a good spot, but as you said, they’re competing in a difficult environment, so it may not show up in their record.

Moon: A lot of love for the Vikings after they get to the NFC Championship and then add Kirk Cousins.

Breer: A lot of people look at Minnesota and think Kirk Cousins’ll be a huge improvement. And maybe he will be. I think he’s a very good quarterback, top dozen in the league. But Case Keenum played really, really well last year, so it wasn’t like they weren’t getting anything out of that position last year.

The NFC right now is clearly the strength of the league. If you picked the top 10 teams in the league, you could make a case that seven or eight of them are in the NFC. I think there will be NFC teams that miss the playoffs who could be in the Super Bowl coming out of the AFC. There’s a little bit of an imbalance there.

Moon: Trubisky projects as part of a wave of new quarterbacks league-wide, a sea change in the NFL.

Breer: The interesting thing is that this is probably as stable as the league has been at quarterback in a long time. There’ve been questions where the next great quarterbacks will come from, but I don’t know that there’s a team right now in the NFL like you looked at the Jets or Browns last year, where you say that team is definitely drafting a quarterback in 2019.

Everyone either has a big-money veteran or former first-round pick on their roster. One team that doesn’t is the Cowboys, but they’ve got Dak Prescott who’s played really well. Every team in the league has some stability at the position. I think the position is as healthy as it’s been in a long time, and you’ve got a lot of good young prospects.