There are probably better places to take an important phone call.
When Jeff Teague’s phone rang Saturday – while on a Harry Potter themed amusement park ride in Orlando – he answered. Hawks general manager Danny Ferry was calling with news that the team intended to match the four-year, $32 million offer sheet from the Bucks. Teague would remain in Atlanta.
“He said they were going to match the offer and we’re glad to have you back,” Teague told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I held on a little bit, got off the ride and we started talking a little bit more.”
Just three days earlier, Teague had expressed to Ferry his desire to move on. The restricted free agent was unhappy with the progress of negotiations and he was impressed by the interest the Bucks showed. He also wanted an opportunity to reunite with former Hawks coach Larry Drew.
Teague said he is happy to remain a Hawk. He showed up at the team’s Las Vegas Summer League game Monday night and there were hugs all around – from Ferry, teammates John Jenkins and Mike Scott, coaches and support personnel.
“It’s a process,” Teague said. “I understood that going into it. I was a restricted free agent and I knew that all along. I was happy either way. I’m glad to be back in Atlanta. It’s been home for four years. It’s time to get back to work.
“There is no bad blood. We are all professionals.”
Teague said he was encouraged by the faith the Hawks showed in him by matching the offer sheet.
“You have to move forward,” Teague said. “It’s a business. I’m excited to be in Atlanta. I’m ready to work. They want to push me to get better and I’m excited for that. I love John. I love Mike. I’m excited. I saw them today it was all love. I’m excited to be here.
“I know they are building a winning culture and I’m excited to be a part of it. I’ve got a good four years to be here and help this team get to a place we haven’t been, the Eastern Conference finals (and beyond).”