The Brooklyn Nets announced their arrival amongst the heads of the NBA hierarchy this free agency period; let’s take a look at one of their acquisitions, Garrett Temple.
After signing superstars Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and acquiring DeAndre Jordan in the most impressive free agency period in Nets franchise history, the biggest head-scratching free agent signing made by the Brooklyn Nets this offseason was Garrett Temple.
The Nets and Temple agreed to a contract almost immediately for $4,767,000 with a team option for 2020 worth $5,005,350. That’s a pretty penny for an undrafted 33-year-old who’s a 9-year NBA veteran and has never averaged more than 10 points per game for an entire season.
Temple’s career numbers are underwhelming, to say the least. Temple averages only 5.9 points per game on just 41 percent field goal shooting. He also shoots only 35 percent from beyond the arc which is not exactly an ideal fit for Coach Atkinson’s 3-ball barrage strategy.
Nets general manager Sean Marks must know something about Temple no other NBA pundit knows to have signed him so hastily, as there were several other quality free agent swingmen to be had for the price paid for Temple’s contract.
Considering Temple’s underwhelming career statistics, one can only use deductive reasoning and assume he was signed because he fits the Nets culture.
Perhaps Marks thinks Temple will be a good clubhouse veteran and positive influence on his teammates. It’s hard to believe Temple fetched such a contract based off his play on the court throughout the entirety of his career.
It’s almost unfathomable to believe Temple was a lure for the stars Marks signed either. In today’s era of player empowerment, it’s possible that Temple has made some friends along his NBA journey who vouched for him with Marks during free agency which culminated into this bizarre signing.
I suppose besides Temple’s potential to provide clubhouse leadership he could provide some tenacious defense in spot duty for the Nets. Beyond that, his acquisition is still a head-scratcher that pierces the skull into the deepest recesses of the brain.
Should LeVert get injured, with Temple next in line for major minutes at shooting guard, Atkinson might suffer a permanent migraine if he decides to start Temple as he is wholly ineffective as a scorer.
With Durant expected to miss the majority of the season, the Nets would struggle mightily to score in the event of a LeVert injury if Temple is given the lion’s share of LeVert’s minutes.
In such a scenario Atkinson would almost certainly have to re-adjust the Nets rotation just to make sure the Nets can score enough to stay competitive with the rest of the league’s high octane offenses each game.
It would have been wiser to utilize the contract used on Temple to sign a more serviceable effective shooting guard. Luckily for the Nets, they have a deep roster with players who can play multiple positions but those players are largely unproven.
However, those players are unproven mostly because of lack of opportunities, unlike Temple, who has been given plenty of opportunities from 8 different NBA teams.
Temple has shown to be nothing more than an NBA journeyman. He was unable to perform consistently even at a mediocre level in a solidified role with the Rockets, Kings, Spurs, Bucks, Hornets, Wizards, Kings (again), Grizzlies, and Clippers.
But who am I to question the genius of Sean Marks? He must know something more about Temple than I do. Why else would he agree to sign him to a contract worth far more than Temple’s market value on June 30th?
Maybe Temple has something to prove. Maybe Temple has untapped potential virtually 27 percent of the league was unable to unleash in 9 seasons – or maybe I’m right and the signing of Temple simply made absolutely no sense whatsoever.
The saving grace of the Temple signing is that the second year is a team option. So in the end, if it proves to be a mistake this season it won’t have any long-term negative effects on the Nets salary cap or as a team.