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For Jeff Teague, signing with the Celtics ‘was all about winning’

Teague sees Boston as a great chance to win at a high level.

Boston Celtics v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

In his 11 seasons in the NBA, veteran guard Jeff Teague has made it to the Eastern Conference Finals just once and didn’t win a single game in that lone appearance.

Teague, who is now on his fourth team after signing a one-year, $2.6 million deal with the Boston Celtics this offseason, wants to win at a higher level, especially when it comes to the playoffs, than he has recently and believes joining the Celtics gives him the best opportunity to achieve that goal.

“Coming here was all about winning,” Teague said. “They’ve established themselves as a great team with core guys who are all All-Star players trying to win a championship, and I wanted to be a part of that.”

In his first seven years in the NBA, Teague thrived as a cornerstone piece for the upstart Atlanta Hawks, who reeled off terrific regular seasons only to more often that not fall flat in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The one time Teague and the Hawks did make it to the conference finals came in 2015 and the Hawks were promptly swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Since that run with the Hawks, Teague has played in nine postseason games, losing eight of those contests while suiting up for the Indiana Pacers and Minnesota Timberwolves. It only went downhill from there for Teague’s teams.

Minnesota finished 36-46 in his second season with the club and Teague was part of Minnesota’s 19-45 campaign from a season ago before getting shipped back to Atlanta midseason, which ended in a similar place in the standings with a 20-47 mark.

Teague’s production has been steady despite his teams dormant play the last few years. Teague has averaged double digits in scoring in each of the last nine seasons and notched a career-best 8.2 assists per game in 2018-19 while playing for the Timberwolves.

Teague should still have something left in his talent tank to make an impact as an off-the-bench contributor for the Celtics. That might not be his role right away, though.

With starting point guard Kemba Walker sidelined for the start of the season due to a lingering knee injury, Teague may slot into a starting position and be flanked by stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

Teague doesn’t have to be reminded about the heights Tatum and Brown can reach on the floor and Teague’s addition, especially if it’s as a sixth man, could move the margins just enough for the Celtics.

“These guys on the court, they’re talented,” Teague said. “They know what it takes. They’ve been to the Eastern Conference Finals. And I’m just here to try to help push that forward.”

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