The Bulls were very quiet as free agency opened, but they got into the fray by agreeing to a one-year, $5 million deal with veteran wing Garrett Temple, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Temple became a free agent when the Nets declined his $5 million player option, and now he’s getting that exact same amount in Chicago. As of right now, we have to assume this is part of the Bulls’ $9.3 mid-level exception, but that could change depending on other moves.
The 34-year-old is the definition of a journeyman. The Bulls will be his 10th team since he came into the NBA in 2009, and he’ll bring a stellar veteran presence to the locker room. He’s an NBPA VP and a high character guy who’s well-liked around the league.
On the court, the Bulls obviously needed wing depth, and Temple is fine as a bench piece. He actually played a sizable role for the Nets last season, averaging 10.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 27.9 minutes per game. However, he shot just 37.8% from the field and 32.9% on 3-pointers.
Temple is at 34.7% on 3-pointers for his career, so this isn’t exactly the legit upgrade in shooting Arturas Karnisovas was talking about after the draft. Temple has had a few good shooting seasons, including a 39.2% mark with the Kings a few years ago, but expectations shouldn’t be too high here. The hope is that in a smaller role the efficiency will go up, and he should bring passable wing defense to the table. Of course, given the injury history of the Bulls’ wings, he could easily find himself playing a larger role again.
Finally, I’d be remiss not to mention that Temple is a Mark Bartelstein client. New front office, same old Bulls?! Just kidding on that front, but it’s still funny that their first signing is a Bartelstein guy.
The Bulls now have 14 guaranteed contracts, plus Denzel Valentine’s qualifying offer out there.