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30Q: What role will Garrett Temple play?

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Temple’s not the inexperienced young player he was the first time he played for Sacramento.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Detroit Pistons Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Despite much of the attention given to other Sacramento free agent signings like Matt Barnes and Ty Lawson, Garrett Temple might end up being one of the better pickups the Kings have made in recent years. Temple isn’t completely unfamiliar to Kings fans, having played for the team on a 10 day contract back in 2010. However, a lot has changed since then and Temple has grown from an inexperienced young player trying to find his way to a veteran roleplayer who can make an impact on both sides of the floor.

Temple spent the last four seasons in Washington after taking a year break from the NBA during the last NBA lockout in which he played in Italy. Temple never had a huge role for the Wizards but was an important piece last season, playing a career-high 24.4 minutes a game and averaging 7.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game for the Wizards. It should be noted that Temple’s increased playing time was also partially due to Bradley Beal’s continued injury woes.

On the surface, those numbers aren’t particularly impressive, especially for someone the Kings signed to a 3 year, $24 million deal. However Temple provides a lot of versatility off the bench, as he can play and defend three positions. He also provides perimeter defense, one of Sacramento’s biggest weaknesses last year; According to basketball-reference, The Wizards as a unit were a full 5 points per 100 possessions better on defense with Temple on the floor than without.

Last year the Kings relied on guys like Ben McLemore and Marco Belinelli at the Shooting Guard position, and when their shots weren’t falling, it was like having four players on the floor on both ends. Having someone like Temple who can provide some defense while also being able to handle the ball and make open threes at a decent, if not great, clip will be a nice addition to this Kings team.

It should also be noted that Temple was well loved by his teammates, winning the award for teammate of the year (as did Anthony Tolliver in Detroit) from his peers per this summer’s Player’s Voice awards. Temple’s a high character individual who looks like he’ll be a factor on the court as well, and I’m looking forward to seeing if he can bring some veteran toughness and more importantly, reliability, to our backcourt.