The role for Garrett Temple is changing. Though not really.
Initially viewed as a shooting guard as he bounced around the NBA, the Wizards have given him more point-guard duties. That means most of his minutes will come behind John Wall and Eric Maynor rather than Bradley Beal.
"He's like a great utility player in baseball. He can play the 1, he can play the 2, he can play the 3," coach Randy Wittman said. "Now the thing he's got to work on is when he's playing the 1, he's got to totally rethink the game (more) than when he's playing the wing up and down."
Temple was signed during the the 2012-13 season and became a free agent. He was signed to his first fully guaranteed, one-year contract in the offseason.
With the Wizards having injuries just about everywhere last year, Temple was inserted into the starting lineup for 36 games. Wall missed the first 33 games with a stress injury in his knee. Then when Wall returned, Temple filled in for an injured Beal. Wittman realized he needed a better ball-handler on the floor with Wall to help relieve the defensive pressure.
"I started off the season last year playing strictly point. I've been playing multiple positions my entire career, Temple said. "It's not that tough."
When playing in the D-League, Temple was a three-point shooter. Rookie Glen Rice made a strong showing in the preseason and will get his minutes behind Beal.
Wittman had a lot to do with keeping Temple around.
"To have the ability to do that and different combinations, not just one guy, makes it good. It gives you different options in the course of the game," he said. "It gives you options when you have injuries."
In his last two preseason games, Temple played his strongest. He scored seven points in each in 17 minutes of play.