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updated: 1/18/2014 10:49 PM

Bulls' Teague getting new start with Nets

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Marquis Teague acknowledged before Saturday's game that he's about to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets. The Bulls will receive forward Tornike "Toko" Shengelia in the deal, which won't be official for a few days.

Teague's days with the Bulls seemed numbered since training camp, when veteran Mike James was brought in for point-guard depth.

Teague, the No. 30 pick of the 2012 draft, displayed top-notch athleticism during his brief time with the Bulls. He had a few winning performances during his rookie season.

But Teague just hasn't developed into a floor leader. That was even more obvious when D.J. Augustin joined the team in December and seemed to get 5 assists in any game without much effort.

Teague needed more time in college to develop his skills. But at a talent factory like Kentucky, players aren't expected to stay long, and Teague left after his freshman season.

"I didn't always get the minutes and things like that," Teague said before Saturday's game. "When the opportunity came sometimes I didn't play as well as I probably should have. Things happen, so I'm not worried about the past anymore. I'm just looking (toward) the future."

Coach Tom Thibodeau offered these thoughts on Teague.

"He's had some good moments. He's had some moments that obviously he could do better, but that's to be expected," he said. "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."

Meet the new Bull:

The first thing Bulls fans should understand about Tornike Shengelia is he's not a point guard who will fill Teague's spot in the rotation.

Shengelia is a 6-foot-10 power forward from the Republic of Georgia. He was a second-round draft pick in 2012, traded on draft night from Philadelphia to Brooklyn. During two NBA seasons, he has appeared in 36 games for the Nets and endured several D-League assignments.

According to, Shengelia is a high-motor, hard-nosed player. He's not an outside shooting power forward like Erik Murphy or Real Madrid's Nikola Mirotic, whose draft rights are held by the Bulls.

Shengelia, 22, has played on the Georgia national team next to Bucks center Zaza Pachulia. Before entering the NBA draft, Shengelia played professionally in Spain and Belgium.

So why Shengelia? It's possible the Bulls could see him providing frontcourt depth at a low price. But there is also some cost savings involved.

Shengelia makes $788,000 this season, slightly less than Teague's $1.074 million. In theory, the Bulls could sign Mike James to a couple of 10-day contracts if anything happens to Kirk Hinrich or D.J. Augustin and stay below the luxury-tax threshold.

Also, it clears Teague's $1.12 million salary off the books for next year. Every little bit might help this summer when the Bulls try to sign Mirotic and do some bargain shopping.

Bull horns:

The Bulls led by as many as 36 points early in the fourth quarter Saturday, their largest lead this season. According to STATS, LLC, Jimmy Butler is the 12th player to log 60 minutes in an NBA game since the 1985-86 season.

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