The Observer has reported that Garrett Temple, who found a roster spot late last season for the Charlotte Bobcats, has signed a deal with Casale, an Italian League team. Garrett Temple was on the 2006 Final Four team for LSU, along with fellow Bobcat Tyrus Thomas and Boston Celtics Center Glen “Big Baby” Davis.
Young Garrett picked up where Sherron Collins left off. The former Kansas Jayhawk couldn’t make himself get on a plane after being released by the team in the flurry of deadline cuts the Bobcats had to do in order to accept all those expiring contracts that they bought out. Collins was given 3 opportunities to get his ass out of bed and return to the team after all the buy-outs but failed to do so. The Bobcats quickly snapped up Temple as the third point guard for two ten-day contracts and then signed him through the end of the season. He was the only free agent from last year’s team to be invited to the Bobcats quick free agent mini-camp before the lockout began.
I thought for sure that Garrett Temple would be back with the Bobcats next season whenever that happens, but you realize when you look at what 2 10-day contracts and then signing through the end of the year pays, and how holding out for some labor peace might not work for a guy like him. $170,373 is what ShamSports is telling me he made with the Bobcats last year. He had two other 10-day deals with Milwaukee and he had been signed with San Antonio to start the season but was waived. If I add all that up the total for last season is $370,043.00, which you might say “That’s a lot of money for 24 games.” But when you consider taxes, agent fees, the escrow (which as we all know, all players get back) and all the assorted costs of living in 3 different states and who knows what in between, it’s poverty in the NBA. (I feel bad for saying that, but as the story from ProBasketballTalk said, that’s the definition of a fringe NBA guy)
So, while other players are having opt-outs written into their contracts as they go overseas just in case the lockout ends and they are able to come back to their team or to land on a roster, Garrett Temple didn’t. I applaud him for making the commitment to Casale. I’d feel like a real assbag if I signed up to work somewhere under contract and then said “Yeah, but if this other job, that I’d much rather have opens up, you gotta let me leave, no questions asked.”
I had high hopes for Garrett, I loved his play. The “length” and handles he had on offense and the on the ball defense he played made me think he had the ability to be an NBA point guard. His decision making skills weren’t there yet, but when you only get playing time in garbage minutes and you’re the third option at point in practice, you aren’t going to get to hone your skills. Maybe the Italian league is where he needs to go to get playing time day in and day out for a team. With only 4 Americans and 3 “guards” (they still have the F/G position in Italy, which is sweet), Garrett might have the opportunity to play (with no other players I’ve heard of, I’d like to say it’s guaranteed). Most of all, he has the opportunity to make money right away, and not wait on David Stern, Billy Hunter and the rest of the people who speak for everyone involved to make a decision. Sadly, if there is basketball as scheduled, Garrett Temple won’t be joining the Charlotte Bobcats. Worse still, those “decision makers” in the labor talks probably don’t even think about guys like Garrett Temple.