Garrett Temple was signed by the Wizards on Christmas Day due to injuries to John Wall, AJ Price, and Trevor Ariza, and turned out to be the gift that keeps on giving. Temple stepped in to his role right away and averaged 31 minutes over his first seven games.
The entire backcourt was bit by the injury bug at some point this past season and Temple was ready whenever his number was called. He brought a level of professionalism and a mentality of hard work to the team. He finished the year averaging 21 minutes per contest for the season and entrenched himself as part of the every day rotation.
Scoring: This maybe one of Garrett’s weakest skill sets. There were a lot of times when he looked tentative on the offensive end. That was probably due to the fact that he struggled with his shot at times, and shot just 40% on the season. One positive note is that he doesn’t have a penchant for taking bad shots.
Court Awareness: Garrett has great court awareness and always seems to be in control of his game, something this team desperately needed. While his box scores don’t wow you, Temple does a little bit of everything including all the little things that don’t show up. He is much more mature than his short two years in the NBA would suggest.
Offensive Value: As I stated earlier, he can struggle shooting the basketball but he contributed offensively in other ways. He will drop a few assists and does a great job spacing the floor. While he can occasionally go for double digits, his true value is more about what he doesn’t do. He’s the type of player that can play large chunks of the game and not hurt the team by making boneheaded plays on the offensive end *cough* Jan Vesely.
Defensive Value: Garrett actually played pretty good defense this season. He is fundamentally sound and rarely gambles.His defense improved as the season went on. In the last month of the season he had 11 games with multiple steals.
Hustle/Effort: Coach Witman has made it clear during his tenure that he will not reward lazy play with extended playing time. Temple comes to work every night, he doesn’t give up on plays and hustles on both end of the floor. And for that, Wittman has rewarded him with tons of playing time. For a guy that didn’t make an opening day roster, he has played more than 30 minutes in a game 19 times with the Wizards, and 40 minutes five times. I guess he’s doing something right.
Basketball Swag: It’s hard to have swag when you are as professional as Garrett, but he does have a pretty loyal following on Twitter, where his profile sums him up best: “Basketball is what I do, not who I am”
Final Grade: I’m particularly biased, I have enjoyed watching Temple play. Based on how suddenly he was thrust into a contributing role and how well he handled it, I have to give Temp a solid B+ for the year. I hope the Wizards resign him and don’t let this hidden gem escape like they did James Singleton last season.