From Wizard to King: Garrett Temple Talks Free Agency and His Former Team | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

From Wizard to King: Garrett Temple Talks Free Agency and His Former Team

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Updated: July 12, 2016

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Former Washington Wizard and all-around good guy Garrett Temple stopped by Washington’s third summer league game, versus Brooklyn, to check out ex-teammates Kelly Oubre, Jr. and Jarell Eddie—and catch up with fellow spectators John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Temple, who recently signed an eye-popping three-year $24 million deal with the Sacramento Kings, was all smiles when I spoke with him at halftime about the free agency process and where he thinks the Wizards are headed in 2016-17.

Adam Rubin: Congratulations on the contract.

Garrett Temple: “Appreciate it.”

How crazy was it becoming a free agent this summer?

“Yeah, I mean, we knew the salaries were going to go up, but I don’t think anybody really knew when you see the money how much it is. It was a blessing to be a free agent at this time. It was the right time to be a free agent, I can tell you that.”

How did you feel when you saw that Mozgov contract the first day? Did you call your agent?

“Nah, I didn’t call my agent. I was surprised, but not really. Timofey played great the year before in the playoffs and the finals. It’s just injuries didn’t allow him to get on the court as much. So, he has talent. A lot of this is ‘what have you done for me lately?’ league, so a lot of people were surprised, but he is a talented player.”

How many teams were you looking at in free agency?

“I was looking at two to three teams, really, three or four teams when it really came down to it.”

Did they get into a bidding war?

“I don’t know. You’d have to ask my agent about all that. He just came to me with the numbers and we decided.”

Did you hear from any of your teammates after the news broke?

“Oh, definitely. John was probably the first guy that sent me a text message. Brad FaceTimed me. Jared Dudley, Drew Gooden, Ramon Sessions, a lot of guys have really reached out and told me they proud of me, they are happy for me. That’s the type of situation I was in, in Washington. Especially being there with Bradley and John for so long, four years, we built something more than teammates—you know, friendships. They were the first ones to reach out. I reached out to Brad the night he got his deal done, FaceTimed him, definitely a mutual respect, and we are going to be friends the rest of our lives.”

What do you think about Washington going forward? You were a veteran presence, a good locker room guy—do you think that is something they need to replace?

“I think they have been able to replace it with some vets they’ve signed. Jason Smith is a real good veteran. At the end of the day, John is going into his seventh season. He’s a veteran now. You have veterans on the team. You don’t need to necessarily replace them now. You have veterans. [Wall] just so happens to be one of the best point guards in the league and, obviously, Brad going into his fifth year now, they are not young anymore. They might be young by age, but they are not young anymore, so I don’t think they have a veteran void anymore.”

Washington had a lot of inconsistency the last few years. Do they need more leadership out of Wall and Beal or were there coaching issues? What things have to change for them to take it to the next level?

“It’s hard to win in the NBA, man. I can’t point to it being a leadership void or what not. I will say when Paul [Pierce] was there he really helped our team in terms of being a vocal leader, but who knows what happened last year? We just didn’t play as well as we should have. It happens in the NBA. It’s hard to win in this league. I wish them the best of luck. I think they are going to have a better team this year and, like I said with John and Brad getting another year of experience and them being there for the long haul, it’s going to help them get even more wins.”

Do you think Otto and Oubre are ready to step up and be the main wings?

“I think Otto is definitely ready. Especially from what I’ve seen of how he stepped up last year. I think Kelly definitely has the ability to do it eventually. Brad is a wing so the main wings are going to be probably Brad Beal and Otto Porter. Kelly is definitely capable and will be a starting wing in this league one day. It’s up to him to see how long it’s going to take but I don’t see it taking long at all.”

Where do you think you fit in with the Kings?

“I think my veteran leadership, my ability to be versatile, play one, two, three positions. I thought coach Joerger is a guy that enjoys versatility and defensive mindset. So I think all of those things are things that I can really bring to a team that is ready and on the brink of changing a culture over there.”

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[circa 2013]

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Adam Rubin
Reporter / Writer at TAI
Adam grew up in the D.C. area and has been a Washington Bullets fan for over 25 years. He will not refer to the franchise as anything other than the Bullets unless required to do so by Truth About It editorial standards. Adam spent many nights at the Capital Centre in the ‘90s where he witnessed such things as Michael Jordan’s “LaBradford Smith game,” the inexcusable under-usage of Gheorghe Muresan’s unstoppable post moves, and the basketball stylings of Ledell Eackles.