The 29th overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, Marquis Teague, remains the lone first rounder to be unsigned with his respective squad. Mark Strotman of CSNChicago.com in association with Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com have examined the Chicago Bulls’ salary situation to come up with a logical reason why Teague remains the last unsigned first rounder.
Teams have the option to pay first-round picks 80, 100 or 120 percent of the pay scale the NBA suggests to each team, relative to the pick. As Deeks puts it, “almost everybody gets the 120%, even when drafted late. The exceptions to this are very few and far between.”
One of those exceptions Deeks noted was players drafted late in the first round. At No. 29, Teague would fit the bill. However, Jimmy Butler was drafted No. 30 last year and received the 120 percent pay scale contract, so it would be odd for the Bulls to not give Teague the same contract.
The difference between the 100 and the 120 percent pay scale over four seasons for Teague is $874,550 or as Deeks puts it, “the equivalent of one veteran minimum contract, but over a four-year period.”
And there we have our answer, the Bulls are looking to sign a proven veteran player at a minimum contract at the expense of a higher Marquis Teague rookie contract. Chicago has had no problem paying their late round rookies the full 120% in the past and also have the cap room to sign Marquis at the usual rate, so this looks to be the underlying issue. As Deeks pointed out this type of situation, when exposed, rarely works out well for the team. In 2010, Xavier Henry was in a similar situation with the Memphis Grizzlies and eventually won the ordeal after making it a public relations nightmare. How Teague and his camp will handle this may play out differently, but at the current juncture he is remaining firm on his expectation of the 120% pay scale. He does have several cards to play in negotiation with the Bulls franchise like NBA genetics and past leadership experiences, but will those tools be more effective than playing this out through the media like others before him?