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Memphis Grizzlies 2018-19 Player Preview: Garrett Temple

Is the Garrett Temple the starting two guard?

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies-Media Day Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Garrett Temple is the epitome of a professional.

He knows what he is supposed to do and comes a team, does his job, and does not ruffle too many feathers. He knows what is expected and he does that to the best of his ability. That’s because Temple knows what it means to work hard for your spot in the NBA every single day because not too long ago, he was the player fighting for a spot in the league. Temple has spent his fair share of time in the NBA G League and has worked hard enough to carve out a solid career in the NBA for himself, but a large part of that is the work that he put in on a daily basis while he was in the G League fighting for a spot.

I talked to Temple at media days and when asked about young players spending time in the development league, he said that he tells them not to be to mad about it cause all those guys in the G League wish they could be you, with a guaranteed contract on an NBA team.

Sacramento Kings v New York Knicks Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

2017-2018 Season in Review

Garrett Temple was acquired through a trade this offseason with the Sacramento Kings, where he started 35 games for them last year and played in a total of 65 games for them with a large part of those games that he missed coming at the end of the season after the Kings had decided to tank. Temple did not have a huge impact for the Kings last year averaging only 24 minutes per game and only scoring just over 8 points per game.

The Kings were not looking for a veteran scorer that was coming off the bench, they were looking to be in the draft lottery pretty much the whole year which is probably why they let him go for so little this offseason. That being said, Temple was effective in the games that he played, averaging almost 40% from three and taking over 3 attempts from behind the arc per game.

Projected Role

Garrett Temple could be huge for the Grizzlies this year. He provides something that have not had outside of Marc Gasol and Mike Conley in a year and that is veteran leadership. He is also a very smart basketball player that makes the right decision in game situations. His role starting off the year could be very different than the role that he finishes the year depending on the development of younger players like Dillon Brooks, MarShon Brooks and Wayne Selden Jr.

Temple could easily start off the year as the starting two guard, simply because of his decision making skills on the court, but I think his long term value to the team is a veteran leader coming off the bench. He will be able to provide smart basketball plays, while also being able to knock down three pointers when he is open. Temple is the type of player that could also close the game in tight game scenarios where J.B. Bickerstaff needs to make sure his team takes care of the ball down the stretch.

Best Case Scenario

The best case scenario for Garrett Temple is a starting two guard for the Memphis Grizzlies, however in this scenario it likely means that Dillon Brooks and Wayne Selden Jr. have not taken the step forward that the front office thought. Temple would be starting beside Mike Conley and also bringing the ball up some allowing Conley to play off the ball.

Temple is a consistent ball handler that takes care of the ball, he does not make lazy entry passes, he does’t try to be fancy with his passes, he makes the right pass when it is needed. He averages less than a turnover per game for his career and last year turned the ball over just 1.2 times per game. That is exactly what this team needs, someone that can give Conley a break when needed but also knocking down open shots. Temple would be able to give Marc Gasol a much needed outlet when a double team inevitably comes his way by consistently knocking down open three pointers.

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Sacramento Kings Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Worst Case Scenario

The worst case scenario for Garrett Temple would not being able to knock down the three pointer consistently. That would mean that he has regressed quite a bit from the player he was last year or even two years ago. Temple has not always been the best shooter - just four years ago he was an abysmal three point shooter taking around one attempt per game - but he has really turned that around.

The worst case scenario for the Grizzlies is Temple sitting on the end of the bench either because his shot has gone haywire or because he is not able to be good enough to take minutes away from Dillon Brooks, MarShon Brooks, or even Selden, which may not be a bad thing depending on how you look at it.

Overall Expectations

I expect Temple to be a role player for this team. I don’t expect him to play a ton of minutes every night, depending on the matchup he may play more or less, but will likely average around 20-23 minutes per game. That being said, I think he will be effective in this minutes contributing on both ends of the floor with his defense and his offense.

He should be able play stretches bringing the ball up the floor to give Mike Conley a break and he should provide a three point threat so that teams do think twice before sending the double to Marc Gasol. Temple should also be able to provide some leadership to the young players, especially the younger guards giving them an idea of where they should be on any given play throughout the game.

Garrett Temple is a player the Grizzlies have been need on the court for several years, and it will be interesting to see how he fits within J.B. Bickerstaff’s system.

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