MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Timberwolves traded 11th-year veteran point guard Jeff Teague to his original team Thursday in a three-player swap of backups with the Atlanta Hawks, who sent shooting guard Allen Crabbe in return.
The Timberwolves also dealt shooting guard Treveon Graham, creating a roster space for potential other transactions prior to the trade deadline Feb. 6. It was the first significant in-season move by new president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas
The 31-year-old Teague, who's making $19 million, and the 27-year-old Crabbe, who's earning $18.5 million, are both playing on expiring contracts. Graham is only signed through this season, too.
Teague averaged 13.4 points and 7.1 assists in 146 games with the Timberwolves over 2 1/2 seasons, a well-respected leader in the locker room whose time with the team was hampered by knee and ankle injuries. He played in only 42 games last season and was moved into a reserve role two months ago, with Shabazz Napier and Jarrett Culver taking the turns at point guard.
Teague, who played his first seven NBA seasons with the Hawks after they made him the 19th overall pick in the 2009 draft, went to his only All-Star game in 2015 for Atlanta.
Crabbe is a better stylistic fit for the fast-paced, 3-point-favoring offense the Wolves have transitioned to under Rosas and first-year coach Ryan Saunders. He is a career 38.9% shooter from 3-point range who averaged 5.1 points in 28 games for the Hawks this season.
Graham averaged 5.2 points in 33 games this season for the Wolves, who acquired the 26-year-old in a summer trade with Golden State after he briefly landed there in a deal with Brooklyn.