Jeff Teague signed a four-year, $32 million offer sheet with the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night, but he doesn't control his own destiny in terms of where he winds up. The Atlanta Hawks have three days to match the offer sheet and retain Teague on the same terms, but the young guard is trying to convince general manager Danny Ferry to let him go. Teague has told Ferry that "he is ready to move on," according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The statement amounts to nothing more than empty posturing at this point. As other restricted free agents like Eric Gordon have learned throughout the years, the player has no real leverage to influence the team's decision. The most that someone in Teague's position can do is signal in subtle ways to the organization that he could possibly become a locker room problem if the offer sheet is matched. In the end, it always seems to come down to how the team with matching rights values the new contract as a future asset.
At an average annual salary of $8 million, it's still definitely possible that Ferry decides to match and keep Teague on the team. The Hawks drafted German point guard Dennis Schroeder with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, but he is considered a raw player who may need time to develop. Nobody knows which way Atlanta's GM will lean in this situation, and all Teague can do at this point is thrash around a bit and attempt to tip the scales. Welcome to life as a restricted free agent.
Update: Teague believes the Hawks will not match Milwaukee's offer sheet. He also apparently believes that Larry Drew loves him more now than he did during the time they shared in Atlanta...
Jeff Teague to AJC: "They embraced me and they wanted me. They told me that. That is something I never really heard (in Atlanta)." #ATLHawks— Chris Vivlamore (@ajchawks) July 11, 2013
Jeff Teague told me he doesn't expect Hawks to match offer sheet. #ATLHawks— Chris Vivlamore (@ajchawks) July 11, 2013