Garrett Temple Opts In With Wizards

JUNE 15TH, 2:05pm: Temple is indeed opting in, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).

MAY 18TH, 12:21pm: Garrett Temple said today that he’s pretty sure he’ll pick up his player option, worth his minimum salary of nearly $1.101MM, to return to the Wizards next season, observes J. Michael of (Twitter link). The combo guard just finished his third season with Washington and his first on a two-year contract he signed to stay with the club last summer. An opt-in wouldn’t do much to hurt the Wizards financially, since with nearly $65MM in guaranteed salary for next season already poised to count against a projected $67.1MM salary cap, Washington has little chance of opening cap space no matter what Temple ultimately does with his option.

The one-time journeyman has found a home with the Wizards after he saw action for five different NBA teams across his first two seasons after going undrafted out of LSU. Temple, who turned 29 earlier this month, made 18 starts in 52 appearances for Washington this season and played almost exclusively at shooting guard after having seen a large chunk of his time at the point in 2013/14, as Basketball-Reference shows. His 37.5% shooting on three-point attempts was a career-best mark as he averaged 3.9 points in 14.1 minutes per game. Temple missed nearly two months with a right hamstring injury late in the season, and he wasn’t much of a factor in the playoffs, totaling seven points in 26 minutes across four appearances.

The Wizards seem set at the point, where John Wall and Ramon Sessions have guaranteed salary for next season while the team holds Non-Bird rights on Will Bynum, but there’s no clear backup for Bradley Beal at two-guard aside from Temple. The Wizards would be well shy of the projected $81.6MM tax line even if Temple and Paul Pierce pick up their player options and the team uses the full mid-level exception, so Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld and company are probably pleased with the idea that Temple appears ready to come back at a low cost.

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