The Wizards have made enough roster adjustments that it begs the question: Where does Garrett Temple fit in?
The 6-6 guard, who re-signed as a free agent to a one-year deal at just less than $1 million, is competing with Eric Maynor and rookie Glen Rice for backup spots in the backcourt. He gives the Wizards a uniquely different look because of his length and defensive prowess.
"Honestly, I don't think much is going to change. Me and my agent talked to (president) Ernie (Grunfeld) before I signed. He said I'm basically in the same position as last year," Temple said. "I'm gonna push for that second spot behind John (Wall). They brought in Eric who is a good point guard who can back up John. I'm also going to be looking for that second spot behind Brad (Beal) being a defender. The main thing is still my versatility being able to guard point guards, (shooting) guards and small forwards if need be."
Temple had bounced around from Europe, the D-League and abbreviated stints with three other NBA teams before playing in 51 games for the Wizards and starting 36 times last season. It was the most action he has ever seen at this level, and he posted modest statistics in 5.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 23 minutes per game.
Temple was signed in December of last season and stuck as the Wizards were desperate for backcourt depth. His ball-handling ability was a pleasant surprise to coach Randy Wittman. His three-point shot improved in second half of the season, too.
"The last three months of the season, me and Ernie talked about that, I shot 41% from three. If I could just continue that and just start that from the beginning, that's what we need for guys to knock down perimeter shots for John," Temple said. "People don't understand in the D-League I was shooting 39% from three. I was a three-point shooter. Make my perimeter shots and be the defender that I am, that's all we need. We have so many options in terms of guys that can score and create their own shot...you need guys coming off the bench playing defense and knocking down open jumpers."
It all adds up to what should be a spirited training camp, despite the recent injuries to Emeka Okafor (herniated disk) and Chris Singleton (left toe surgery), that begins Sept. 28 at George Mason University in nearby Fairfax, Va.
"It's going to be a competitive camp in terms of those backup backcourt spots. We drafted a guy in Otto Porter who has looked a lot better as he's gotten used to it," Temple said. "We know what Trev can do on the defensive end of the ball and what Martell did in terms of shooting last year was great. We got guys that can bring a lot to the table. We're going to have a competitive camp and that's going to make everybody better."