Jacob Raim | WashingtonWizards.com
Garrett Temple is coming back. The Wizards announced that they will be bringing the combo guard back for another season, after a 2012-13 season which was by far his most successful in the NBA. Temple has played 102 games in his NBA career for six teams, and half of those games came last year for Washington. The Wizards were the first team to give Temple extended minutes and he performed admirably, wearing many different hats last year. He played both the one and the two, and also spent time both starting and coming off the bench. Temple started 36 of the 51 games he played for Washington, including starting the final 22 games of the year, filling in for both Wall and Beal when they were out with injuries. On the year, Temple averaged career highs of 5.1 points, 2.3 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 22.7 minutes per game.
The reason Temple's number was called so often last year was primarily his defense, as he was probably the Wizards best on the ball guard defender. Temple was very often responsible for defending the opposition's best scoring guard. He's 6'6" so he has great length to defend either guard spot. The Wizards were about two points better defensively per 100 possessions when Temple was on the floor.
On the offensive end, Temple went like the rest of the Wizards, improving drastically after the All-Star break and playing the best offensive ball of his career. He shot the three at a 41 percent clip after Wall came back and was at 52 percent on long twos. During a six-game stretch in March in which the Wizards won 5 out of 6 (March 13-22), Temple scored in double figures in all but one of those games. Temple did not get to the hoop much, but when he did he finished at about a 60 percent clip after the All-Star break.
Ernie Grunfeld alluded to Temple's exceptional versatility when discussing the reasons for bringing him back. Temple earned himself this deal by being one of the Wizards' unsung heroes last year, forming some chemistry with Wall in the backcourt and being a great locker room presence. Assuming the Wizards can be healthier this year, Temple will not play close to 22 minutes per game, but he will continue to be a solid depth guy for the Wizards, who can step up in big defensive situations and knock down some three balls.