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Morning Conversation: How good is Garrett Temple?

Garrett Temple is having an incredible season, but can he do this long-term?

Kimani Okearah

Welcome to ‘Morning Conversation’, a semi-regular, not-so-original thingamajig that I’m going to try and put together every non-gameday weekday morning, time and life permitting. There are aspects of the Sacramento Kings worth discussing that rarely get discussed, but may not warrant a full-blown post. As a Kings fan living outside of Sacramento, I’m pretty isolated. Nobody in Boston wants to hear about my fleeting Kings thoughts, but maybe you do?

How good is Garrett Temple?

When the Sacramento Kings signed Garrett Temple, I was fairly underwhelmed. I thought it was a fine signing, I thought he was a decent player, but it’s extremely hard to get a solid read on someone when you’re only watching them a handful of times per season. Temple has been around for a long time, including a brief stint with the Kings in 2009-10. I thought I knew what he was, but after watching him through 40 games this season, I find myself wondering just how good he actually is.

He’s playing phenomenal basketball this season, but can the Kings expect this from him over the next two seasons? Is his play sustainable? What does that mean for the Kings long-term?

Temple is probably the best perimeter defender the Kings have had since, I don’t know, Ron Artest? If we’re just comparing guards, is he the best defender since Doug Christie?

When I spend my time wondering how good Garrett Temple is, what I’m really trying to do is map out his future in Sacramento. He’s obviously earned a long-term role with the Kings (as long-term as a three year deal can be), but where should Vlade Divac place him in his long-term plans? Are you comfortable calling Temple the starting shooting guard, and for all intents and purposes, halting your search for an immediate upgrade?

He may be better served as a versatile bench guard, but considering how many other holes the Kings need to fill this summer, you could save a lot of cap room slotting in, say, Garrett Temple and Malachi Richardson at shooting guard while using that precious cap space elsewhere.

I don’t know the answer to that question. On one hand, he’s limited offensively, on the other hand, Tony Allen started the majority of games during his tenure in Memphis while the Grizzlies have been a consistent playoff team. In fact, a lot of teams are perfectly comfortable dedicating a spot in their starting lineup to a great defender with limited offensive skills. He’s not quite Tony Allen defensively, but he’s in that ‘defensive stopper’ conversation, despite the fact that no one outside of Sacramento is really talking about it.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and feel free to suggest future topics/suggestions for this series.