The Wizards completed a mad dash through free agency on Wednesday, as Garrett Temple agreed to return to the team on a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum salary worth slightly more than $900,000, according to people with knowledge of the situation. The deal is fully guaranteed.
Temple averaged 5.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 51 games for the Wizards, playing numerous roles and connecting with Coach Randy Wittman because of his versatility and ability to guard multiple positions.
The Wizards didn’t give Temple a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent but had every intention of bringing back the 6-foot-6 guard, who arrived in late December on a 10-day contract as a fill-in for John Wall and finished the season as the starter for the injured Bradley Beal.
In three seasons with Houston, Sacramento, San Antonio, Milwaukee and Charlotte, Temple has career averages of 4.5 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists. Temple also spent time playing in Italy and the NBA Developmental League. The Wizards snagged him from the Reno Bighorns last season and he immediately found a role in Wittman’s rotation.
With the Wizards’ additions in the draft and free agency, Temple won’t have the same role but he can serve as a valuable option in the backcourt since Beal is the only true shooting guard on the roster
.The Wizards moved swiftly through the free agent negotiation period as they addressed their three priorities – a backup for John Wall in Eric Maynor, Martell Webster and Temple – in three days.
Webster was the top priority and he came at the steepest cost – a four-year deal worth $22 million, although the fourth year is only partially guaranteed. Maynor agreed to a two-year deal, with a player option for the second year, worth about $4 million.
The Wizards attempted to tie up Temple with a deal that included a team option for the second year, but he declined and will be an unrestricted free agent again next season.
They now have 13 players under contract, with second-round pick Glen Rice Jr. expected to keep push the roster to 14. Though they have a roster spot available, the Wizards will likely wait to fill that position as training camp nears – or if they need a spot for any trades.