Wizards building team with solid role players
Garrett Temple finally has the job security he has craved since bouncing in and out of the NBA in 2009 and the Wizards have wrapped up their free-agency rush in three days.
Wednesday, Temple agreed to a one-year deal worth just less than $1 million, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to CSN Washington. Temple, who went undrafted out of LSU in 2009, has played on 10-day contracts on eight different occasions.
The Wizards will have 14 players under contract, provided second-round pick Glen Rice Jr. (non-guaranteed) pans out. A team may have 12-13 players on the active roster and not more than 15 during the season.
CSN reported Monday that Temple likely would re-sign this week. The Wizards already have secured the services of point guard Eric Maynor who was a free agent and ended last season with the Portland Trail Blazers who were his third team. They locked up Martell Webster on Tuesday. Free agents A.J. Price, Cartier Martin, Jason Collins and Leandro Barbosa weren't retained.
Temple, 27, has played for five teams, including two stints with the San Antonio Spurs when he made four starts, and the D-League. He was signed by the Wizards in December for the pro-rated minimum of $573,000 and saw his playing time increase to a career-high 23 minutes per game as injuries decimated the roster. The veteran minimum this season for a player of Temple's experience is about $916,000.
Temple averaged 5.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists and made 36 starts for a 29-53 team. When Bradley Beal went down with an ankle injury, coach Randy Wittman initially started Trevor Ariza in the backcourt with John Wall. His ball-handling, however, wasn't good enough, and Temple took over that duty while Ariza returned to his sixth-man role.
At 6-6, Temple fits the prototype that the Wizards appear to be interested in as they've rebuilt the roster in hopes of making the playoffs for the first time since 2008. He’s a long, versatile defender who can guard multiple positions –- like Ariza, Webster, draft picks Otto Porter and Rice -- on the floor. The Wizards were a top 10 defense, the only non-playoff team among the lot.
While Temple shied away from taking open jump shots for most of the season, he grew more confident at the end. He showed glimpses of being competent enough shooter with consistent playing time.
He played in 51 games for Washington last season, equaling his total NBA games played in his previous three seasons. It was Temple’s first full season in the NBA after brief stints with the Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Bobcats, Sacramento Kings and Houston Rockets. He didn't make an NBA roster in the 2011-12 season.
Temple was released by the Miami Heat before last season. He had a chance to return to the Heat, who went on to win their second consecutive championship, but chose the Wizards in December because he had a better chance to get off the bench and play.
He doesn't have a ring, but now Temple’s bank account is starting to look much better.