Garrett Temple

Bulls Notes: Donovan, Roster, Temple, Satoransky

The Bulls need to do a better job of overcoming adversity, new coach Billy Donovan told reporters, including Jamal Collier of The Chicago Tribune, following a second straight disastrous performance. After trailing by as many as 40 points in the season opener, Chicago was embarrassed again Saturday, this time by Indiana. The Bulls fell behind by 30 at one point, giving up a 21-0 run in the second quarter and an 18-0 run in the third.

It’s not what Chicago fans were expecting after an offseason of change that brought in Donovan to replace Jim Boylen as head coach and Arturas Karnisovas to run the front office. Donovan believes improvement won’t begin to show until players learn how to deal with difficulty.

“They don’t handle (adversity). They don’t at all,” he said. “They internalize their mistakes, they internalize what’s going on, and I’ve said this before, they’ve got to do this together. They’ve got to fight together, do it together. We’re probably on most nights probably not going to be the most athletic or the most talented or the most experienced, but we can be a team — we have control over it — that can have a lot more fight in ourselves there. I came out on the court one time because I saw them come out of the huddle and they just all looked totally dejected.”

There’s more Bulls news to pass along:

  • Despite management changes, the team won’t get any better until it overhauls the roster, contends Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. The Bulls brought back 14 of their 17 players from last year’s 22-43 team, including several who are miscast in their current roles, Mayberry adds. He sees Coby White as more of a shooter than a lead guard, while Zach LaVine isn’t efficient enough to be the first scoring option. Mayberry also questions the decision to draft Patrick Williams with the No. 4 pick instead of trading down to acquire more assets.
  • Free agent addition Garrett Temple, one of the few new faces in Chicago, promises to bring toughness to the team, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. ‘‘I don’t think we have soft guys here by any means, so it’s a matter of building the right habits,” Temple said. “And that starts in practice.”
  • Tomas Satoransky was available for the first time Saturday after being quarantined due to contact tracing, Cowley adds in the same piece. Satoransky, who didn’t test positive for COVID-19, said the waiting was difficult. ‘‘It was very tough for me being at home, not being able to work out or doing anything,’’ he said. ‘‘Just self-quarantine myself. … You only can control some of it, and you have to be mentally strong and be ready to come back and accept the role you will have after this. … It really tests you mentally and is another challenge you have to go through this season.’’

Central Notes: Giannis, Temple, Love

Giannis Antetokounmpo, who recently signed to a super max extension, believes the Bucks have a better roster this season, he told Eric Woodyard of ESPN and other media members.

“The Milwaukee Bucks this year, we’re good … we’re better,” Antetokounmpo said. “We have some great guys that we added to the team. They’re playing the right way, and once everything fits in together, we’re going to be good. It’s going to be fun to watch.”

The Bucks’ most noteworthy addition, Jrue Holiday, is averaging 18.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists through two games.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Garrett Temple is hopeful of playing this weekend, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago tweets. Temple has been sidelined after testing positive for the coronavirus in late November. Temple signed a one-year, $5MM contract with the Bulls after the Nets declined their team option on the veteran swingman. Chicago plays Indiana on Saturday and Golden State on Sunday.
  • Kevin Love missed the Cavaliers‘ opener with a calf injury but he’s available for their first road game at Detroit on Saturday, according to The Associated Press. Love hasn’t played since the team’s first preseason game against Indiana on December 12, when he got kicked in the calf.
  • The Pistons are signing guard Frank Jackson to a two-way contract. Get the details here.

Central Notes: Donovan, Temple, Turner, Warren, Gores

Bulls coach Billy Donovan is already building a strong foundation in Chicago, working to establish relationships with his players and instill a respected culture within the team, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes.

Donovan, who’s set to start his first season as head coach of the Bulls this week, spent the past five years coaching the Thunder. He led Oklahoma City to a surprising 44-28 record last season, good for the fifth-best in the Western Conference.

“He has a great track record with his players and he has done a great job so far of telling us what he needs out of us,” veteran forward Thaddeus Young said. “We had a meeting (early in camp) and he took time to really sit down as a team and tell us, ‘These are the things we need to do to win basketball game(s) and these are the things we need to do in order to fight through this thing.’ I think he’s done a great job so far.’’

Donovan hopes to guide the Bulls to their first playoff appearance since the 2016/17 season, leading a group that consists of Zach LaVine, Coby White, Wendell Carter Jr., Patrick Williams and others.

Here are some other notes from the Central Division:

  • K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago examines how Garrett Temple could immediately help the Bulls in a separate story for NBC Sports Chicago. Temple, the team’s only acquisition in free agency, finished his first practice on Sunday after quarantining due to COVID-19. “Just talking guys through certain things that I see, whether it be defensive things, offensively or just making sure we stay together,” Temple said. “If a team goes on a 5-0 run, 10-0 run that we stay together and not put our heads down. Things of that nature are some things I think I can help out with right away.”
  • The Pacers expect to have Myles Turner and T.J. Warren available for their season opener against the Knicks on Wednesday, J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star writes. Turner had been coping with a concussion, while Warren had been dealing with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. “They were in a full physical, contact practice today and they looked good,” coach Nate Bjorkgren said. “There was a lot on 5-on-5. That’s what I would expect. They’re getting the green light to get closer and closer to that.”
  • A criminal justice group has submitted a letter to NBA commissioner Adam Silver with hopes of forcing Pistons owner Tom Gores to sell the franchise, according to Davide Scigliuzzo of Bloomberg (via The Detroit News). The group’s concerns lie with Gores’ financial interest in Securus Technologies Inc., which came under fire this year for charging prisoners as much as $25 for a 15-minute call, Scigliuzzo writes.

Central Notes: Bulls, Holiday, Nance, Dellavedova, Exum

The Bulls will be without six players when they travel to Oklahoma City this week for a pair of preseason games, writes Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago. In addition to Garrett Temple (coronavirus), Denzel Valentine (hamstring strain), and Thaddeus Young (lower leg infection), the club will also be missing Devon Dotson, Adam Mokoka, and Tomas Satoransky, who are simply listed as “not with team.”

As K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago noted on Sunday when those three players – and Noah Vonleh – were given excused absences for the Bulls’ previous exhibition contest, those vague designations will likely become common over the course of the 2020/21 season as teams navigate the NBA’s coronavirus protocols.

While Vonleh eventually confirmed he had tested positive for COVID-19, that doesn’t mean the same is true of Dotson, Mokoka, and Satoransky. It’s possible they’re being kept away from the Bulls temporarily for contact tracing purposes, or even for a reason unrelated to the coronavirus. With teams not formally announcing which of their players have tested positive for the virus, we may be left to speculate in situations like this throughout the coming season.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Now that the Bucks have secured a commitment from Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Pelton of ESPN (Insider link) wonders if an extension for Jrue Holiday might be next up on the team’s to-do list. Since he was recently traded, Holiday can only get a 5% raise and one extra year (beyond his 2021/22 player option) for now, but those restrictions will lift on February 26, allowing for more money and more years.
  • Cavaliers veterans Larry Nance Jr. and Matthew Dellavedova are entering the NBA’s concussion protocol and neither player will travel to New York for the club’s final two preseason games, according to Chris Fedor of
  • Dante Exum, who had 23 points and five assists and was a plus-33 in Monday’s win over Indiana, has solidified his spot as the Cavaliers‘ backup point guard entering the season, Fedor writes in a separate story for Exum, the fifth overall pick in the 2014 draft, is entering a contract year.

Bulls Notes: White, Young, Temple, Williams

Coby White got the start at point guard in the Bulls‘ preseason opener, but he has a long way to go to earn that job on a regular basis, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. White had an uneven game, finishing with 15 points and six assists in 23 minutes, but he missed his first three shots as Chicago fell into an early 17-point hole.

White’s main competition for the spot will be Tomas Satoransky, who started 64 games last season. New head coach Billy Donovan said he will make the decision based not only on White’s individual performance, but how he affects his teammates.

“As a point guard, it’s not always going to be about how well (White is) playing but how well the group is playing,” Donovan said. “And I think that’s his maturation — that’s the process he has to go through in terms of understanding that he has to be a connector. And it’s not only him — it’s the group that’s out there together. How can they make each other better? How can they function with one another? How can they play off each other? How can they make the game easier for each other? That’s going to be the biggest thing.”

There’s more from Chicago:

  • Veteran forward Thaddeus Young was scratched from Friday’s game because of a lower leg infection and won’t play Sunday night either, according to Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago. Young is listed as day to day, but has no set timetable to return. “He’s doing much better, which is good. Things haven’t gotten worse,” Donovan said. “But I think the doctors want to keep a close eye on him with that infection and just make sure he’s healing properly.”
  • Garrett Temple is still in the league’s COVID-19 protocol and it’s uncertain when he might be able to return, Schaefer adds in the same story. Temple tested positive on November 28.
  • The Bulls like what they saw from lottery pick Patrick Williams in his first NBA game, according to Sam Smith of Williams came off the bench with 12 points and three rebounds in 25 minutes. “I think he’s got a chance to be a really good player,” Donovan said. “He has a really good feel for the game. He very rarely forces shots, he makes good decisions, he’s a good passer. He is really good when he gets into that elbow, paint area where he can shoot those one-handed lean-in shots. I’m sure he was a little anxious and nervous, but he’s got a good pace and good way he plays and he can get into the mid range. I thought he played very well considering the fact that there was no real Summer League or build up to training camp, and he had to come here after the draft and get started.”

Central Notes: Bulls, Temple, S. Lee, Bjorkgren

Several Bulls players showed up early for training camp to get to know new head coach Billy Donovan and his staff, writes Jamal Collier of The Chicago Tribune. The team hasn’t played since March, so players were eager to get started on the new season.

“Billy has come in and made a lot of changes,” Daniel Gafford said. “He came in and basically put his foot down and made sure that everything was laid out on the table on what he wanted to do with the team. I like that as a coach. It’s a big job. He really came in and just made sure that he built a relationship with the guys before we got to work. Once he built that relationship and we got on the floor, it was flowing right after that.”

Since the abrupt end of last season, Chicago has seen management changes as well as a coaching overhaul. New executives Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley have been regulars at the team facility as they become familiar with their personnel.

“They just want to make this franchise better,” Thaddeus Young said. “They want to come out and get it right on the first go-around as opposed to trying to take a whole bunch of shots and missing on all those shots. They’re making sure they take the time and do their due diligence on everything that they’re doing. They’re very precise on what they want to do.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Bulls guard Garrett Temple tested positive for COVID-19 on November 28, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Temple will have to pass a series of safety protocols before he can report to camp, and he hopes to receive clearance by Wednesday. Temple said he got tested because he was experiencing a headache and feelings of fatigue. He believes he has recovered from most of the symptoms.
  • Second-round pick Saben Lee made a strong impression during his pre-draft interview with the Pistons, according to Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press. Bryce Drew, who coached Lee during his first two seasons at Vanderbilt, believes he has the personality to make an impact in the NBA. “In the basketball world, I’ve coached quite a few players and he’s probably tried to dunk on more people than anyone I’ve ever coached,” Drew said. “Even though you’re polite off the court, you can be a lion on the court. At his size, he’s not scared to go try to dunk on anybody.”
  • Pacers players are adapting quickly to new head coach Nate Bjorkgren, tweets J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star. “This is the most fun I’ve had in a training camp in my career. … The overall vibe,” Doug McDermott said. “He’s got a great vibe to him. It feels different. … He’s a guy everyone here will go to war for.”

Bulls Notes: Karnisovas, Vonleh, Temple, Donovan

Executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas didn’t make sweeping changes during his first offseason running the Bulls, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports. Thirteen of the 15 players who finished last season on Chicago’s roster are back for training camp.

Karnisovas has a philosophy that emphasizes building through the draft and player development, Johnson adds. He is also holding onto the $25-$30MM in cap space the Bulls project to have for next summer’s talented class of free agents.

“We were pretty happy with the roster that we had,” Karnisovas explained in a session with reporters. “We didn’t have a lot of wiggle room to work with. We added players that are versatile. We added some leadership, experience to the roster we already had and that was the mentality. And also preserving cap room for next summer and using this season to look at our roster and evaluate and see what the long-term goals will be following this season.”

There’s more from Chicago:

  • Noah Vonleh was briefly in Denver with Karnisovas last season and could be a threat to earn a roster spot, Johnson states in the same story. Vonleh signed a non-guaranteed deal, and Karnisovas said he is “going to compete in training camp.” That may mean the Bulls are willing to waive a guaranteed contract such as Cristiano Felicio ($7,529,020) or Luke Kornet ($2.25MM).
  • Free agent Garrett Temple, who was the team’s only free agent addition with a guaranteed contract, was added for his “versatility, experience, leadership. Those would be my three things on Garrett.” Karnisovas tells Johnson (Twitter link). He also said the organization will “make every effort” to work out an extension with Lauri Markkanen (Twitter link). Markkanen expressed strong interest in a new deal earlier in the week.
  • Bulls players have already noticed a different atmosphere with Billy Donovan taking over for Jim Boylen as head coach, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. Zach LaVine, who had numerous run-ins with Boylen during their time together, was among the players who commented on the change. “They’re showing their faces,” LaVine said of the new coaching staff. “I see them every morning. I get here around 8 o’clock and they’re already in the gym. They’re on the court with you. They’re talking to you about not just basketball, but personal life things. What things do you like to run? What don’t you like? They want you to be upfront. They’re willing to change and hear players’ opinions, so that’s something that’s been different than in the past.”

Contract Details: Temple, Vonleh, Sixers, T. Johnson, More

Garrett Temple‘s new one-year contract with the Bulls is worth exactly the amount of the room exception ($4.767MM), according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). However, Chicago is an over-the-cap team without the room exception available and used a portion of its mid-level exception to complete its deal with Temple.

Meanwhile, Noah Vonleh‘s one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Bulls is entirely non-guaranteed for the time being, per Smith (Twitter link). Vonleh won’t have to wait too long to find out whether or not that money will be guaranteed though — if he’s still on the roster through opening night, he’ll receive his full guarantee, Smith says.

Here are several more details on newly-signed contracts from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Justin Anderson‘s two-year, minimum-salary contract with the Sixers has a $125K partial guarantee in year one, while Ryan Broekhoff‘s one-year, minimum-salary deal with the club is non-guaranteed, according to Smith (Twitter links).
  • Tyler Johnson is already assured of his salary for 2020/21, as his one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Nets is fully guaranteed, per Smith (Twitter link).
  • Kelan Martin‘s new two-year deal with the Pacers features a $723K partial guarantee in year one and is non-guaranteed in year two, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Indiana is now over the luxury tax line by $577K, though I expect the team will look to sneak back below that line later in the season, whether or not Martin remains on the roster.
  • Oshae Brissett‘s new multiyear deal with the Raptors features a $300K guarantee for year one, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic. That guarantee signals that Brissett probably has a leg up in battle for Toronto’s 15th regular season roster spot.

Eastern Notes: Giannis, Hayward, Raptors, Bulls, Wizards

It has been a frenzied week of NBA roster moves since the league lifted its months-long moratorium last Monday, but there have been no updates on perhaps the biggest storyline of the offseason, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN. As Windhorst points out, the league is still waiting to see whether or not reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo will agree to a five-year, super-max extension with the Bucks.

League sources tell Windhorst that the Bucks – in recent weeks – have moved from “cautiously optimistic to cautiously confident” that Antetokounmpo will make a long-term commitment to the club when he returns from Greece. However, moves made by other teams across the league this week suggest that not everyone on the outside views it as a lock.

Clubs that have long been cited as likely free agent suitors for Giannis if he reaches the open market in 2021 went to great lengths this week to preserve their cap room for next summer. The Heat, Mavericks, and Raptors were among the teams that made an effort to keep money off their books for next season — in some cases, it may have even cost them key free agents.

Here’s more from around the East:

  • While a panel of analysts at The Athletic agree that the Hornets‘ four-year, $120MM deal for Gordon Hayward is an overpay, sources tell Sam Amick of The Athletic that the forward did have another four-year offer in the $100MM range. It’s not clear whether it was the Pacers or another team that made that offer.
  • In negotiations with Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol, it was clear the Raptors prioritized their future cap flexibility over keeping the free agent centers in Toronto for 2020/21, according to Josh Lewenberg of, who says the team knew it might have to take a step backward in the short term in order to achieve their ambitions in the long term.
  • While losing two more key pieces from their 2019 championship roster will be a tough pill to swallow for the Raptors, Michael Grange of warns not to assume the club will take a big step backward in 2020/21.
  • The Bulls entered the offseason needing to fortify their wing rotation, which is why they agreed to sign Garrett Temple and bring back Denzel Valentine, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. Temple is a good teammate and a versatile veteran who can play multiple positions, while the Bulls like Valentine’s ability to shoot, pass, and rebound, Mayberry writes.
  • Jerry Brewer of The Washington Post makes a case that the Wizards need to reboot their roster by trading both John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Bulls Sign Garrett Temple

NOVEMBER 28: The Bulls have officially signed Temple, according to RealGM’s NBA transactions log.

NOVEMBER 20: Free agent Garrett Temple has agreed to a one-year, $5MM deal with the Bulls, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Temple played 62 games with the Nets this past season, choosing to leave Brooklyn after just one campaign on the team.

Temple, 34, will join a Bulls team in need of veteran leadership. Chicago finished with a 22-43 record last season, but the team dealt with several injuries and carries a talented, young roster entering the 2020-21 season.

Temple averaged a career-high 10.3 points per game last year, though he shot just 38% from the field and 33% from downtown. He’s made past stops with Houston, Sacramento, San Antonio, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Washington, Memphis and Los Angeles.

For Chicago, the team still has most of its players from last year under contract for next season. The club opted not to issue a qualifying offer to guard Kris Dunn, however, who started 32 of 51 games last season and remains an unrestricted free agent.