Garrett Temple understands his NBA role and acts accordingly. The veteran guard with a defensive knack believes his attitude as much as anything led to teams inquiring about the then-free agent's availability this summer and to receiving his first multi-year contract.
Temple re-signed with the Wizards earlier this month, agreeing to a two-year deal worth approximately $2 million. The contract includes a player's option for the second year.
"It feels good, my first multi-year contract. I feel very blessed," Temple said during a recent phone interview with CSNwashington.com. "Hard work, man. I honestly think being a professional goes a long way. That's something I really pride myself on, being a professional. The situations I've been put in, I don't know many guys that would react the same way I have."
After stops with five other teams over two seasons and a stint in Italy, Temple joined the Wizards as free agent on Christmas Day 2012 and during the midst of the team's brutal 4-28 start. The lengthy guard quickly earned minutes thanks to his steady and unselfish play.
That led to his first-ever pre-training camp contract, though Washington also signed Eric Maynor to backup John Wall before the start of last season.
"Last year going into the season, I was the third point guard, on paper," Temple said.
Temple emerged when the Maynor experiment failed, but the Wizards sought out more offense from the position before the trade deadline. Andre Miller joined the roster and Temple became a steady fixture on the bench.
"(I) had a chance to get some playing time and then when Andre came in he got all the minutes," the LSU product said from his from home in Baton Rouge. "But there's always being that positive influence and professional. I think that made a big impact on how (the Wizards) viewed me and how people around the league view me as well."
Reports surfaced during free agency that the Magic, Bulls and Heat showed interest in adding Temple. Ultimately, all roads led back to Washington.
"A few teams contacted my agent at the start of the process," said Temple, who was in Miami's training camp before the 2012-13 season. "I have history have with Miami so they were always (a possibility). I think a lot of stuff changed when LeBron (James) made his decision about how they want to build their roster. There was a little interest there, but nothing came out of it so it doesn't matter now."
Washington expressed interest in retaining Temple immediately after the season ended. With the team coming off an appearance in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Temple also made it clear he wanted back.
"With the situation that we had last year and what (management) told me in the exit interviews, I had a feeling that they wanted me back. I wanted to come back because of the team that we built, the camaraderie with the guys. ...I wanted to be loyal to that. Unless I got a deal that was much better than (what) they were offering, I knew I'd be back. They came with a great deal and we made it work."