Garrett Temple

Southwest Notes: Morant, Burke, Wieskamp, Temple

Grizzlies guard Ja Morant says he’s motivated by his desire to be recognized as an All-Star player, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports writes. Morant, who has been on a scoring tear this season, averaging 30.5 PPG and 8.5 APG, says he has a chip on his shoulder after being passed over for the All-Star Game in his first two NBA seasons.

“I feel like it took me averaging 35 points a game to finally get some All-Star recognition,” Morant said. “But, I really can’t speak too much on that. I feel like my chip will never leave.”

We have more on the Southwest Division:

  • Mavericks guard Trey Burke will not play against San Antonio on Thursday due to COVID-19 protocols, Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets. Burke is not sick, but he missed part of his protocol sequence, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News tweets. Unvaccinated players are required to go through more COVID protocols between games than those who are vaccinated. Burke, who is signed through 2022/23, has only made two brief appearances this season.
  • Rookie Joe Wieskamp is taking a positive approach to being assigned to the G League by the Spurs, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express News tweets. “It was really fun to be around the (NBA) team and go to the games, but obviously we weren’t getting too many minutes, if at all,” he said. “This gives us an opportunity to go out there and play and develop.” The former Iowa wing is playing on a two-way contract.
  • Pelicans guard Garrett Temple is doubtful to play on Friday after injuring his ankle on Wednesday, according to a post on the team’s website. “It’s still pretty sore with his left ankle,” coach Willie Green said. “We’re not sure about (Temple’s availability for) tomorrow, but we’ll know more as we get closer to the game.”

Bulls Notes: Vučević, Ball, Caruso, Williams, Donovan

The Bulls revamped their roster over the offseason, but Nikola Vučević will still be a focal point of the team’s new high-octane offense, writes Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic.

Vučević had a game-high 18 field goal attempts in the Bulls’ blowout preseason victory (121-85) over the Pelicans Friday night. New teammates Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, and DeMar DeRozan are all finding the All-Star center in good positions to score.

With all the guys I have around me now,” Vučević said, “I have so many opportunities to score: trail 3s, drive-and-kick, off pick-and-pops, on rolls and dump-offs. We have so many guys who are good on the ball and that are willing passers, as a big man, it’s a luxury to have. We just have to get used to each other and build that chemistry, and I think it’ll be great for everybody.”

On a team with three 20-plus points per game scorers (Vučević, DeRozan, and Zach LaVine averaged a combined 72.4 PPG last season), Vučević knows he might not be the primary option every night, but his looks should be easier to convert, and he’s perfectly fine with that, per Mayberry.

It will come easier to me because we have so much talent out there that it’s harder for defenses to take stuff away. When we do a two-man game, any type of actions, it’s going to open up a lot for everybody. For me, the same. I think it will be easier to get touches in better spots,” Vucevic said.

Here’s more from the Windy City:

  • Ball was unfazed when facing his former team last night, writes Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times. Ball’s laid-back demeanor has served him well when faced with the near-constant rumor mill that has followed his career, Cowley notes. “I always have rumors circling around me all year,” Ball said. “So, I mean, it’s been the same for me the last four years. I’m just happy to be here.”
  • In the same piece, Cowley says that Caruso continues to praise former Lakers teammate LeBron James. “I owe a lot to [James] for where I am today. Obviously, I put a lot of work in, but he makes me look good. He makes the team look good. When you win, everybody gets paid, everybody gets to do a job. Being part of his legacy and being a part of that team for the last couple of years was fun for me,” Caruso said.
  • Cowley also relays that Patrick Williams, the fourth pick of the 2020 NBA draft, hasn’t recovered yet from his ankle sprain, but if he’s able to start practicing by next weekend, Cowley thinks there’s a good chance he’ll be ready for opening night at Detroit.
  • Coach Billy Donovan appreciated his time working with veterans Tomas Satoransky, Garrett Temple, and Thaddeus Young, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “You talk to these veteran guys like Garrett and Thad and Sato and the word that always comes out of their mouth is ‘We. We’ve got to do this better.’ A lot of times, players say, ‘I.’ They were always ‘We,’” Donovan said. “I just admire that not only did they take care of themselves, they took care of the group.”
  • Follow more Bulls notes and rumors on our team page here.

Southwest Notes: Zion, Vaccinations, Temple, Harrison, Brooks

Addressing reporters at the Pelicans‘ Media Day on Monday, star forward Zion Williamson expressed a desire to remain with the franchise for the foreseeable future.

I love it here. I love the city of New Orleans,” Williamson said, per Andrew Lopez of ESPN (Twitter link). “I don’t wanna be anywhere else.”

An offseason report suggested that some of Williamson’s family members want him out of New Orleans, while a more recent story suggested he and Pelicans head of basketball operations David Griffin aren’t on particularly great terms. However, after dismissing the idea that he wants to leave the Pelicans, Williamson also downplayed the idea that there’s any frostiness between him and Griffin.

It’s all love with me and Griff,” Williamson said. “… We’re both competitors, we both want to win. Do we disagree on some things? Yes. But no one agrees on everything.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Griffin said today that there are one or two players left on the Pelicans‘ roster who remain unvaccinated, while Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said his team is 100% vaccinated (Twitter links via William Guillory of The Athletic and Mike Finger of The San Antonio Express-News). Meanwhile, Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd estimated that his players are about 90% vaccinated, adding that the goal is to get that number to 100% by opening night (Twitter links via Callie Caplan and Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News).
  • Veteran Pelicans guard Garrett Temple said he’s interested in getting into coaching or front office work after he retires, tweets Christian Clark of NOLA.com. Temple added that his preference would likely be a front office role, since coaching can be “finicky.”
  • Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News shares an in-depth profile of new Mavericks president of basketball operations Nico Harrison, detailing the long path Harrison took to becoming Dallas’ lead basketball decision-maker.
  • Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks will be a full participant in training camp, head of basketball operations Zach Kleiman said today (Twitter link via Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian). Brooks was out for eight weeks this summer after breaking his hand in two spots, tweets Drew Hill of The Daily Memphian.

Bulls Acquire Lonzo Ball Via Sign-And-Trade

AUGUST 8: The Bulls have officially acquired Ball, the team announced late on Sunday night in a press release. As expected, the Pelicans acquired Satoransky, Temple, and a future second-round pick in the deal. The future second-rounder is Chicago’s 2024 selection, and New Orleans also received cash considerations.

This transaction continues to be investigated by the NBA due to possible “gun-jumping,” since it’s a complicated sign-and-trade deal that was reported as being done the minute that free agency opened on Monday.

The Pelicans and especially the Bulls may face discipline from the league based on that investigation’s findings. However, the fact that the trade was processed while the probe is ongoing is another sign the NBA isn’t going to disallow it.

Due to base year compensation rules affecting Ball’s new contract, neither the Bulls nor the Pelicans will  create a trade exception in the deal.


AUGUST 2: The Bulls and point guard Lonzo Ball have agreed to a four-year, $85MM deal, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul tells Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The contract will include a fourth-year player option, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

Ball is a restricted free agent, but the Bulls and Pelicans will work out a sign-and-trade to get him to Chicago, Paul tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

The Pelicans will receive Tomas Satoransky, Garrett Temple, and a second-round pick from the Bulls in the sign-and-trade agreement, according to Charania (Twitter link).

Temple is a free agent, so he’ll be signed-and-traded as well. He’s getting a three-year contract with the first two years guaranteed, according to David Aldridge of The Athletic, who adds that the deal is expected to be worth about $5MM per year (Twitter links).

It’s a major coup for the Bulls, who have been linked to Ball for the last several months. The team reportedly discussed a trade with the Pelicans at the deadline, but couldn’t reach a deal to land Ball at the time. Now, Chicago is in position to add the former No. 2 overall pick to a starting lineup led by Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic.

Ball, 23, had arguably the best season of his career in 2020/21, averaging 14.6 PPG, 5.7 APG, and 4.8 RPG in 55 games (31.8 MPG) and improving his shooting numbers to .414/.378/.781.

His deal is right in line with the four-year deals signed by fellow point guards Fred VanVleet and Malcolm Brogdon in recent free agencies.

While Pelicans stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram expressed a desire to continue playing with Ball, the team’s front office never seemed sold on the idea of making him a long-term cornerstone. Adding Satoransky will give New Orleans some depth at the point, though the team will likely remain in the hunt for another point guard in free agency.

CJ McCollum Elected New NBPA President

CJ McCollum is the new president of the National Basketball Players Association, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The Trail Blazers guard replaces Chris Paul, who served two consecutive terms totaling eight years.

McCollum, 29, has served as a vice president on the union’s executive committee for the past three years and has been a strong voice in NBPA decisions as well as negotiations with the NBA, Woj adds.

Grant Williams was elected as vice president, the league announced (via Twitter). Other members of the executive committee will be Andre Iguodala (first vice president), Harrison Barnes (secretary-treasurer) and vice presidents Bismack Biyombo, Malcolm Brogdon, Jaylen Brown, Kyrie Irving and Garrett Temple (Twitter link).

“Since entering the league, I have wanted to be involved in the and contribute to the important decisions that impact our lives as players both on and off the court,” Williams tweeted. “I am honored to be selected by my peers for this position and excited to join the NBPA Executive Committee.”

One of the union’s first priorities under McCollum will be to find a replacement for Michele Roberts, who has served as executive director since 2014. She has announced her intentions to step down and is expected to leave her post sometime around the end of the year.

McCollum will also have to take the lead in negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, Wojnarowski points out. The current CBA runs through the end of the 2023/24 season, but either the league or the players could decide to opt out after the 2022/23 season ends.

Pacers Rumors: Turner, Lamb, Brogdon, Ball, FAs

Plenty of trade speculation has swirled around the Pacers heading into the 2021 offseason, but a league source tells J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (subscription required) that a “seismic” change to Indiana’s roster is unlikely.

One player whose name has popped up frequently in trade rumors during the last year or two is Myles Turner, and teams haven’t slowed their efforts to land the rim-protecting big man. According to Michael, the Knicks have gotten more aggressive lately in their pursuit of Turner — they aren’t the only club trying to trade for Turner, but they appear to be making the strongest push as of late, Michael says.

Here’s more on the Pacers:

  • With lottery pick Chris Duarte expected to step into a role on the wing, the Pacers are interested in moving Jeremy Lamb, reports Michael. Lamb, who was limited to 36 games last season due to injuries, is on a $10.5MM expiring contract.
  • The Pacers have had discussions about whether Malcolm Brogdon is the answer at point guard, according to Michael, who writes that the team also talked about possibly pursuing Lonzo Ball. However, Ball doesn’t seem to be a serious option for Indiana at this point, Michael adds.
  • T.J. McConnell and Doug McDermott both have interest in returning to the Pacers, but McConnell wants security (ie. a multiyear deal) and McDermott may get too pricey for the team. As he’s previously reported, Michael notes that McConnell is more likely than McDermott to re-sign with the Pacers.
  • Michael points to Avery Bradley, Lou Williams, Will Barton, and Garrett Temple as some free agents who may appeal to Indiana.

Free Agent Rumors: Lowry, Caruso, Cavs, Trent, Batum, Bradley

The Pelicans are viewed as the most likely of Kyle Lowry‘s prospective suitors to guarantee a third year in their offer to the veteran point guard, sources tell Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. However, it’s the Heat that are considered the current frontrunners to land Lowry.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirms as much in his latest report, suggesting that the Heat are ready and willing to attach assets to Goran Dragic to entice the Raptors to accept a sign-and-trade offer, with Precious Achiuwa and draft picks among the pieces that could be in play. According to Wojnarowski, the Pelicans and Mavericks – rumored to be two of Lowry’s most aggressive suitors – are beginning to consider other options as they look for a starting point guard.

Here are a few more updates on free agents, with the start of the 2021 free agent period less than 24 hours away:

Bulls Notes: Vucevic, LaVine, Young, Temple

In his end-of-season comments following the Bulls‘ regular season finale on Sunday, head coach Billy Donovan admitted that he was disappointed his team didn’t make the playoffs. However, he doesn’t believe it’s fair to conclude that the midseason trade bringing Nikola Vucevic to Chicago was a mistake, as Sam Smith of Bulls.com writes.

“The one thing that I’ve seen – and I haven’t been in the NBA that long – when you look at these trades, most of the trades are trades to add. Guys coming off the bench or filling a hole. But this was a trade where immediately a guy comes in and now he’s unequivocally 1A or 1B,” Donovan said. “Those things don’t normally happen in the NBA. The whole entire thing got kind of flipped upside down.”

Donovan, who pointed out that the Bulls didn’t have much in-season practice time to properly assimilate Vucevic and the club’s other newcomers, expressed that he believes the trade will pay off in the long run. That was an opinion that Vucevic shared, as K.C. Johnson of NBA Sports Chicago tweets.

“This trade wasn’t just made for this year,” Vucevic said. “It was made for the future of the franchise.”

Here are a few more Bulls-related notes as the team looks ahead to an eventful offseason:

  • As he prepares to enter a contract year, Zach LaVine said today that he loves being in Chicago and is very excited about the team’s future, according to K.C. Johnson (Twitter links). Asked about his next contract, LaVine replied, “It’s a business at the end of the day. I definitely want what I deserve.”
  • A recent report suggested LaVine may be willing to sign for less than his maximum salary, but there are several factors that affect what LaVine’s “max” will be at a given time between now and the summer of 2022. Those factors include whether he signs an extension or waits for free agency, whether he earns All-NBA honors this year or next, and – if he signs an extension – whether the Bulls are willing to renegotiate his current deal to give him an immediate raise. It’s possible LaVine would be willing to take a slight discount in some of those scenarios, but not in others.
  • Thaddeus Young, who has a $6MM partial guarantee on his $14.2MM salary for 2021/22, said today that he hasn’t been told whether or not he’ll be retained, but added that he’s fully committed to the Bulls and that he has had only positive discussions with management and the coaching staff (Twitter link via Johnson).
  • An unrestricted free agent this summer, Garrett Temple reiterated his interest in sticking with the Bulls, tweets Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. “I can never say what’s going to happen in free agency. I can only say what I would like to happen,” Temple said. “I really enjoyed Chicago. Even with the snow. Even during a pandemic. The organization, from what I’m hearing, took a turn for the better.”

Central Notes: Temple, Bryant, Pacers, Hayes

As his first year with the Bulls nears its end, veteran swingman Garrett Temple praised the job that president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley have done for the franchise so far, suggesting that the front office is one reason why Chicago will be an appealing destination for free agents.

“I think people that understand and are free agents and things of that nature, are probably looking at the Bulls front office as a place, a group of people that know what they’re doing for sure,” Temple said, per Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago.

Temple, whose one-year contract with the Bulls will expire at season’s end, added that he believes the club is capable of taking “great steps in the next year or two” and expressed interest in remaining in Chicago beyond 2020/21.

“Yeah, no question. I love what we’re doing here. I love the coaching staff. I’m enjoying the front office. I’m really enjoying being around the guys,” Temple said. “For example in Detroit (Saturday) night we were hanging out together in the lobby area, talking and playing cards. Those type of things. Not every team is like that. I enjoy being here. And I would love to see what we could do to progress this type of team.”

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Maccabi Tel Aviv issued a press release confirming that they’ve officially parted with Elijah Bryant, allowing him to pursue an NBA opportunity. Having left his team in Israel, Bryant is on track to sign with the Bucks.
  • After their very public altercation on the sidelines last week, Pacers center Goga Bitadze and assistant coach Greg Foster appear to have smoothed things over. Video from before Saturday’s game showed them embracing, laughing, and working together, as Nat Newell of The Indianapolis Star relays.
  • Pistons rookie Killian Hayes racked up a career-high 21 points against Chicago on Sunday and said after the game that he appreciated being able to play off the ball alongside fellow guard Saben Lee. This is the second time I played with Saben, I loved it,” Hayes said, per Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). “… When you always have the ball in your hands, the defense can read what you’re going to do.” As Sankofa observes (via Twitter), Hayes’ comfort level in that role could be important if the Pistons find themselves in position to select an on-ball guard such as Cade Cunningham near the top of this year’s draft.

Central Notes: Bulls, Temple, Stewart, Antetokounmpo

The Bulls were 3-6 since the addition of Nikola Vucevic entering Monday’s game against Memphis but Billy Donovan isn’t ready to shake up his lineup, according to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun Times.

“One of the things we try and do is after like every 10 games maybe sit down and look at the analytical reports. I know with this group it’s been maybe somewhat of a small sample size because there haven’t been a lot of games, but actually that lineup has not been bad starting,’’ the Bulls’ head coach said. “It’s been OK. … I don’t feel like we’re getting out to these starts where we’re digging ourselves out of holes.’’

We have more from the Central Division:

  • There’s some encouraging news regarding Bulls swingman Garrett Temple, who has missed eight consecutive games with a hamstring injury, Cowley adds in the same story. After apparently suffering a setback, Temple has been able to do some straight-ahead running and sprinting pain-free during the past few days. Donovan wants Temple to get through some contact practices this week before he plays again.
  • Pistons rookie center Isaiah Stewart has made great strides defensively and his raw strength has impressed teammate Jahlil Okafor, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. “He’s so big and so strong, when opposing big men are in there trying to get position on him, they really can’t,” Okafor said. “They’re usually off balance. The shots are not usually even close to going in because of how strong he is.”
  • The Bucks have been vague regarding Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s left knee injury. There’s still no timetable for the two-time MVP’s return and The Athletic’s Eric Nehm takes a closer look at the origins of the injury and how Giannis’ regular-season absence might impact the club’s chances of going on an extended postseason run.