Garrett Temple

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Sixers, Barrett, Temple

The Raptors are among the teams trying to make the most of what has been an unusual and unprecedented pre-draft process, as assistant general manager Dan Tolzman explained to reporters on Wednesday. Tolzman estimated that there are about 50 players Toronto likes in this draft, adding that he believes the club can land a rotation-caliber player at No. 29 and potentially at No. 59 too.

“Usually there’s a lot of risers and fallers based on the draft combine, individual workouts, 3-on-3 workouts, all that kind of stuff, that isn’t happening,” Tolzman said, according to Blake Murphy of The Athletic. “I’d say the best way to describe it is very balanced. There’s going to be a lot of rotation-level players that come out of this draft, kind of all across the board.”

Tolzman also suggested that the lack of pre-draft workouts and other activities for prospects this year may result in some rising players being overlooked until after the draft.

“I think probably more than usual, the undrafted market is going to be huge because normally, players that maybe early on were expected to go undrafted, they worked their way into the draft picture, and those workouts and those opportunities for them to do so just didn’t happen this year,” Tolzman said. “… You’re going to see guys come out of nowhere and be contributors next year.”

A strong undrafted free agent market may benefit the Raptors, who have done very well in that area in recent years, most notably with their signing of Fred VanVleet in 2016. Toronto’s top 2019 UDFA signing, Terence Davis, earned a spot on the All-Rookie Second Team this year.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • New Sixers head coach Doc Rivers is interested in adding former Bulls assistant Roy Rogers to his staff, a league source tells Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). Rogers spent the 2019/20 season on Jim Boylen‘s staff in Chicago, but isn’t returning to the Bulls following the hiring of Billy Donovan.
  • Multiple people in touch with Knicks decision-makers tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv that they expect New York to take a player’s fit with RJ Barrett into account when considering potential roster moves this offseason.
  • Reacting to a pair of recent tidbits from John Hollinger of The Athletic, Net Income of NetsDaily considers whether the emergence of Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot might dissuade the Nets from picking up Garrett Temple‘s $5MM team option for the 2020/21 campaign. Temple was a regular part of Brooklyn’s rotation last season, but struggled with his shot (.378/.329/.805) and may be expendable for tax reasons.

And-Ones: Carter, Roberts, Hervey, Heat

Longtime NBA forward Vince Carter has already transitioned into a new broadcasting role after calling it a career earlier in 2020, but he received one more honor as a player from the NBA this week. The league announced on Thursday that NBA players voted Carter as the recipient of the NBA Sportsmanship Award for the 2019/20 season.

The aim of the award is to honor the player who “best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court,” the league noted in its press release. Six players – one per division – were nominated as finalists, with Carter beating out Harrison Barnes, Steven Adams, Langston Galloway, Tyus Jones, and Garrett Temple for the honor in his final season.

Carter earned 143 of 266 possible first-place votes and finished with 2,520 total voting points. Temple was the runner-up, with 22 first-place votes and 1,746 total points.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • In a conversation with Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts said she won’t leave the players’ union until “we’ve returned to some semblance of stability,” but the plan is still for that to happen in 2022, when her current contract ends. “This PA has to have a succession plan,” Roberts said. “Every company does, we need to have one and we need to get about the business of getting somebody in place. … We’re going to get somebody in place and it’s going to be someone fantastic.”
  • Former Thunder two-way player Kevin Hervey spoke to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman about leaving the NBA and G League to play for Lokomotiv Kuban in Russia. “I see it as such an opportunity to grow not only as a basketball player, but as an individual,” Hervey said. “To go experience a different culture, to go see a different side of the world.”
  • Teams around the NBA – especially in smaller markets – should be rooting for the Heat over the Lakers in the NBA Finals, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic, who contends that a Miami win would be a point in favor of patiently building a roster from the ground up, rather than hoping two superstars will choose to join you.

New York Notes: Stoute, Thibs, Temple, Crawford

Knicks “branding manager” Steve Stoute is confident he can recruit stars to the team, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.

Stoute, who joined New York’s front office in January, mentioned in a recent conversation with The Breakfast Club show that he, team president Leon Rose and senior vice president William Wesley have strong relationships with some of the NBA’s top stars. Stoute anticipates they will be able to capitalize on these friendships, making the Knicks an attractive free agent destination once again.

“With having Leon in, World Wide Wes and myself, the three of us, we’re the best sort of team as it relates to being able to speak with free agents,’’ Stoute said of the Knicks’ new front office team.

Though every club’s cap situation is fairly up in the air following the anticipated revenue loss caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Knicks could have one of the lowest payrolls in the NBA next season, with only about $55MM currently committed to guaranteed salaries. The club could have even more cap flexibility in 2021.

There’s more out of the Empire State:

  • While speaking in a recent press conference, Knicks GM Scott Perry detailed how new head coach Tom Thibodeau won him over during a series of Zoom interviews, according to a separate Marc Berman piece for The New York Post“During this process, it allowed me personally to get to know the man better and really see how our personalities could come together and mesh,” Perry said. “I felt really good about our time talking basketball. He’s got a lot of the same values about the game that I was raised in that came through clear to me throughout the process.’’
  • Despite the Nets being one of the most injury-ravaged squads among the 22 NBA teams in Orlando, wing Garrett Temple expects his Brooklyn teammates to compete, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “We’re trying to win,” Temple said after the seventh-seeded Nets defeated the East’s top-seeded Bucks today. “We’re not going out here to just mess around or have moral victories.”
  • Nets interim head coach Jacque Vaughn is cautiously optimistic about the health status of injured 40-year-old guard Jamal CrawfordBrian Lewis of the New York Post noted in a separate article. Crawford played just five minutes before apparently suffering a strained left hamstring. “I’m telling you, I love having him around and it was awesome to see him on the floor, and look forward to him being on the floor again,” Vaughn said.

Atlantic Notes: Brown, Smith, Temple, Kline

Celtics swingman Jaylen Brown wasn’t sure about playing in Orlando until he was sure that messages regarding social justice would be welcome, A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston writes. Brown also indicated other teammates felt the same way and they are embracing the platform.“The ability and the option to play for something bigger than yourself, a lot of guys would sign up for that 10 times out of 10,” Brown said.

We have more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • Zhaire Smith‘s latest injury is another example of how the Sixers’ decision to acquire him during the 2018 draft hasn’t panned out, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Smith will sit out the remainder of the season with a bone bruise in his left knee. He has appeared in just 13 games during the first two seasons of his career and the club unsuccessfully tried to deal him in Feburary, Pompey adds.
  • The Nets’ Garrett Temple admits he feels a “nervous anxiousness” about the restart of the season, according to ESPN’s Malika Andrews. Temple’s fiancee is due to give birth in mid-September and he’ll leave the campus if the Nets are still playing at that time. “There is no way to be comfortable when you think about where you’re going to be, for the amount of time you’re going to be there and the restrictions that you have there,” Temple said. “The question of us being comfortable; that will not be the case whatsoever. We will have to adapt.”
  • It’s no surprise that Knicks 26-year-old scout Alex Kline is on the fast track to success, as Zach Braziller of the New York Post details. Kline started his own recruiting site when he was in high school and quickly gained respect. “Alex is wise beyond his years and someone I have always respected for both his hard-working mentality and talent evaluating skills,” new Knicks president Leon Rose told Braziller. ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla told The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov that Kline will have a prominent front office job before long. “As a basketball guy, this kid is going to go places. … Is he going to turn into an NBA superstar GM? That remains to be seen, but he’s got all the tools,” Fraschilla said.

Nets Notes: Harris, Vaughn, Temple, Dinwiddie

An important decision awaits Joe Harris whenever the offseason finally arrives and the Nets‘ sharpshooter would like a long-term arrangement in Brooklyn, relays Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Harris is headed for free agency and figures to earn a sizable raise after making $7.6MM this season.

“In [an] ideal world, I’d play my whole career in Brooklyn,” Harris said this week in an interview with Ian Eagle of the YES Network. “I came in with [GM] Sean [Marks], even the ownership. It’s just one of those things where you have a close connection with a lot of people that are within the organization. You kind of all came in together. Now I’ve been here for four years and built unbelievable relationships with everybody that’s a part of the organization. It’s amazing just to see where we’ve gone from Year 1 to now. And I obviously want to be a part of that, and a part of it for a long time.”

Harris was just trying to earn a spot in the league when he signed with the Nets in 2016. He has developed into a starter the past two years and led the league in 3-point percentage last season.

There’s more from Brooklyn:

  • The NBA’s hiatus is limiting interim coach Jacque Vaughn’s opportunity to prove he deserves the job on a permanent basis, observe Alex Schiffer and Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Vaughn won both games after taking over for Kenny Atkinson, but was immediately presented with the challenge of trying to hold the team together while the league is shut down. “I think I’m very realistic about it,” Vaughn said about his chances of keeping the job beyond this season. “I’ve challenged the guys to make the most of 20 games and, hopefully, it’s more than that. What’s going to happen is going to happen. I’m going to give you all I’ve got. I’ll definitely do that.”
  • As a vice president of the Players Association, Garrett Temple has more than his own situation to worry about, Lewis writes in a separate story. “There is a clause in the [collective bargaining agreement] that stipulates what will happen if the season has to end because of a natural disaster,” Temple explained. “The teams make the most money on the postseasons, which is the reasons why players’ salaries may be cut 20 percent if we don’t play again.”
  • With the Bulls looking for someone to run their front office, Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie jokingly tweeted his interest today, along with a plan to revamp the team.

Hiatus Notes: Cuban, Temple, Board Of Governors

After recently predicting that the NBA will resume its season prior to June 1, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is backing off that aggressive forecast. Appearing on Wednesday morning on ESPN’s First Take, Cuban deferred to the experts on a potential timeline for a return to the court, as Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com details.

“I don’t know the date,” Cuban said when asked for his new prediction. “And it won’t happen until we can be absolutely certain that everybody will be safe. It’s safety first, no ifs, ands or buts about it. And so, I’ve been optimistic that it might happen before the start of June, but who knows now? We’ll listen to the scientists and take our cues from them.”

While Cuban acknowledged that he doesn’t know “how, where, or when” it will happen, he expressed optimism that the NBA will still be able to resume and complete its 2019/20 season at some point. However, he cautioned that the league “won’t do it until it’s safe.”

Here’s more on the NBA’s coronavirus-related hiatus:

  • In a column for USA Today, Dan Wolken argues against the practicality of eventually finishing the 2019/20 season in what would essentially be a quarantined “bubble.” The NBA has reportedly been weighing the idea of resuming the season in a single location, such as Las Vegas, but Woiken points to a number of logistical issues that would be hard to overcome to make that scenario a reality.
  • Nets swingman and NBPA vice president Garrett Temple spoke to Sam Amick and Joe Vardon of The Athletic about the measures the league would need to take to resume its season, suggesting that being able to test players for the coronavirus before entering the game facility would be of paramount importance.
  • The NBA is holding conference calls this week with front office committees as the league discusses the logistics of the postponed season, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter links). As Wojnarowski notes, the league’s original calendar called for in-person Board of Governors meetings on April 16 and 17, but those meetings are likely to be replaced by an April 17 conference call.

Coronavirus Notes: LeBron, Young, Curry, Temple

Lakers All-Star LeBron James spoke about his feelings on returning to the NBA amidst the coronavirus pandemic with his former Cavaliers teammates Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye – plus Lakers studio host Allie Clifton – for their Road Trippin’ Podcast (h/t to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin).

James feels uncomfortable about potentially playing games without fans. “So to get back on the floor, I would love it,” he said. “Let’s just go to each other’s practice facility, put out a camera, just scrimmage and livestream it. … I just don’t know how we can imagine a sporting event without fans. It’s just, it’s a weird dynamic.”

On the podcast, James also advocates for the NBA playing a handful of regular season games before the playoffs, assuming the 2019/20 season can resume at all. “One thing you can’t just do is go straight to the playoffs… Because it discredits the 60-plus games that guys had fighting for that position.”

Here are a few more items related to the coronavirus pandemic and the NBA’s hiatus:

  • After the COVID-19 pandemic forced the NBA to postpone its season, All-Star Hawks point guard Trae Young returned from Atlanta to his offseason home near his family in Norman, Oklahoma, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.
  • Warriors All-Star point guard Stephen Curry has been a solid voice of reason amidst the coronavirus chaos, as Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Curry hosted an informative 30-minute Q&A on his Instagram with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
  • Nets wing Garrett Temple has opted to use the NBA’s indefinite postponement to study for the LSATs, as he told the YES Network’s Michael Grady (h/t to New York Post’s Brian Lewis). “I’m going to be honest, I’ve been sleeping a good amount, but also trying to take on a new task,” Temple said. “I’ve actually started practicing for the LSAT prep.”

Atlantic Notes: Randle, Stevens, Temple, Robinson

The improved play of 2019 Knicks free agent signee Julius Randle since Mike Miller became the team’s interim head coach can be attributed to several factors, The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov observes.

“I’m just playing with confidence,” Randle said. “I try to take things on a game-by-game focus, not really worried about the big picture of things when it comes to that.” Randle’s jump-shooting accuracy has improved for the Knicks lately. He has been less prone to on-court mistakes, and has been penetrating inside more instead of settling.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

Atlantic Notes: Thomas, Irving, Temple, Bullock, Burke

Wizards guard and former Celtic Isaiah Thomas believes that Kyrie Irving may not have been cut out to be the Celtics’ leader, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reports.

“That’s just like Boston and New York. You have to have a different type of skin to be able to succeed there,” Thomas said when asked about Irving. “They won 17 championships. They have 30 jerseys retired. So it’s expectations like you can do great but we need better and it’s always been like that. The media attention of putting on a Celtics jersey, a Knicks jersey, a Lakers jersey, those legendary teams and franchises, it’s just a little different.”

We have more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Garrett Temple got off to a hot start with the Nets but he’s cooled off considerably while playing big minutes due to injuries, Brian Lewis of the New York Post notes. In his past five games heading into Monday’s action, Temple was shooting 26.6% overall and 24.3% from deep. “Yeah, I’ve got to figure out a way to get out of this slump,” Temple said. “I’ve got to make shots for us to keep the defense honest, but also just to offensively help us have more balance.” The Nets hold a $5MM option on Temple’s contract for next season.
  • Knicks guard Reggie Bullock‘s neck injury did not occur while playing, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic reports. Bullock, who is close to returning for the Knicks after offseason surgery for cervical disk herniation, said the injury came as a surprise to him. “I didn’t get hurt in an actual game or anything,” Bullock said. “It was just something that I woke up with.” The injury cost him millions. Bullock originally agreed to a two-year, $21MM deal in free agency, then settled for a two-year, $8.2MM contract with the second year non-guaranteed.
  • Sixers point guard Trey Burke believes he can play effectively with floor leader Ben Simmons, as he told the team’s website. “I think [Ben and I] play off each other pretty well,” he said. “I think I could play the two out there, and give (Josh Richardson) a break, and still be in the game with Ben.” Burke is on a one-year, $2MM contract that doesn’t fully guaranteed unless he remains on the roster through January 10.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Atlantic Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the Atlantic Division:

Bobby Portis, Knicks, 24, PF (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $30.75MM deal in 2019
Portis’ career appeared to be on the upswing when he posted solid numbers across the board for Chicago and Washington last season. Like many of the free agents the Knicks signed, Portis has been a colossal disappointment. His shooting percentage has dipped and he hasn’t been a force around the boards. Other than a 28-point outing against Chicago in late October, Portis has done little to justify his salary. Unless he experiences a major turnaround under new coach Mike Miller, the Knicks will decline their $15.75MM option on him after the season.

Brad Wanamaker, Celtics, 30, PG (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $1.4MM deal in 2019
Wanamaker’s role has grown in his second season with the Celtics. He’s carved out steady work, averaging 17.9 MPG while appearing in all 24 games. He doesn’t take a lot of shots but he’s above average in those categories (47.1% overall, 40% on threes, 87.5% at the free throw line). He had a 12-point, six-rebound outing against Indiana on Wednesday. Boston can make Wanamaker a restricted free agent by extending a $1.9MM qualifying offer after the season. Thus far, he has given them incentive to retain those rights.

Garrett Temple, Nets, 33, SG (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $10MM deal in 2019
The Nets made plenty of headlines during the free agent period this past summer by signing Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan. Who would have guessed that during the first two months of the season, the free agent making the biggest impact would be Temple? He’s averaging 13.9 PPG, 3.9 RPG and 3.6 APG while shooting 39.7% from long range in 34.2 MPG over the past 10 games. The Nets hold a $5MM option on Temple’s contract for next season. As a valuable member of the rotation, Temple is making that decision an easy one.

Jonah Bolden, Sixers, 23, PF (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $7MM deal in 2018
Bolden appeared in 44 games in his rookie year, including 10 starts, but doesn’t have a role on this year’s team. Bolden, who has been bothered by an Achilles injury, has appeared in just two NBA games this season. He’s played eight games with the team’s G League squad, the Delaware Blue Coats, and that’s where he’ll likely spend most of his time this season unless Al Horford or Joel Embiid miss a stretch of games. Bolden’s $1.766MM salary for next season is not guaranteed and even at that modest cost, the Sixers might not keep the 2017 second-round pick around.

Stanley Johnson, Raptors, 23, SF (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $7.4MM deal in 2019
The highlight of Johnson’s disappointing NBA career came in his rookie season, when then-President Barack Obama praised his defensive effort against LeBron James in a playoff series. The eighth pick of the 2015 draft has gone from rotation player in Detroit to an afterthought with the Raptors. Currently sidelined with a groin injury, Johnson has only made five brief appearances this season. Fortunately for Johnson, he holds a player option on his $3.8MM salary for next season. At this point, it would be foolhardy for Johnson to opt out in the summer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.