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Defensive wizard Garrett Temple latest kings surprise signing

Nate Washburn

Defensive wizard Garrett Temple latest kings surprise signing

Sacramento kings’ General manager Vlade Divac continues to mess with the so-called “experts” during Free-Agent Frenzy 2016. On Sunday, the team landed guard Garrett Temple for a reported 3-year, $24 million.

Temple, a versatile 6-6 guard entering his 7th season in the NBA, can play the 1, 2, and 3 spots. He is known primarily for his defense and positive locker room attitude. Last season, he averaged 7.3 points, 1.8 assists, and 2.7 rebounds in a reserve role for the Washington Wizards. His offensive skills are nothing to write home to mom about, as he has just a .398 career field goal percentage.

But his shooting is not the purpose of this signing. Divac wanted a lockdown wing defender who can play multiple positions – one being backing up presumptive starting point guard Darren Collison. And, at six inches taller than Collison, the Kings can throw a completely different backcourt look at the opponent if needed.

The deal will pay the 30-year-old Temple a flat $8 million per year, with a player option for the 2018-19 season.

The move finally closes the door on guard Rajon Rondo coming back to Sacramento as the team will need to renounce his rights in order to free up enough cap space for their new free-agents. It also should free up enough money to resign restricted free-agent guard Seth Curry, if the team so desires.

The Kings are clearly not done yet as rumors are flying fast and furious about trades involving Rudy Gay, Kosta Koufos, Ben McLemore, and Caron Butler. The team could use some more scoring options at the 3 and are likely looking to set themselves up for a ton of cap space during the 2017-18 free-agent market when less teams will have space and better players are available.

So far, Divac has played his cards very close to the chest. Much like the old days of Geoff Petrie. None of his moves dating back to the NBA draft in June were predicted by anyone around the league. It’s a nice change from the days of the leakiest organization in the NBA.



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