Raptors sign Garrett Temple: Instant reaction and analysis

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 25: Garrett Temple #41 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 25: Garrett Temple #41 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Masai Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors appeared to be largely finished with the bulk of their offseason work, as Pascal Siakam rumors are dying down and all of the two-way slots have been used. Just when all seemed calm, Garrett Temple came from out of left field and landed on Darko Rajakovic’s squad.

The veteran wing has been in the league since 2009, though he has been traded, cut, and signed more than just about anyone still lacing them up. Temple spent last season trying to help a young New Orleans Pelicans team fight for a postseason spot.

Despite the fact that Toronto seemed to have a full roster heading into their preseason gauntlet in a few months’ time, Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed that Toronto signed Temple to a one-year, $3.2 million contract.

While Temple is by no means a Ray Allen-type 3-point shooter or someone that will lock down the opposing team’s best player every night, having a solid 3-and-D veteran who has been consistently talked up as a terrific presence behind the scenes is a quality use of one of the team’s final roster spots.

Toronto Raptors sign Garrett Temple to a one-year contract

Temple averaged just 2.0 points per game in limited minutes last year with the Pelicans, but the prior three seasons might be more indicative of what the higher end of his talent looks like. With the Pelicans, Nets, and Bulls, Temple started 76 games and averaged 7.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.

Temple is 37 years old. With the idea of potentially sending Thad Young’s salary elsewhere appealing to Masai Ujiri, Temple could take on his role as the veteran leader. His presence in the locker room has to play a massive part in why teams continue to sign him at this age.

Temple likely won’t be a rotation mainstay for the Raptors, but there are advantages to having a player with as much experience as him. Plus, if he needs to suit up and get in the game, he has a 3-point shot that can help Toronto steal a win here and there as they try to claw back to the postseason.

Temple’s move means that Toronto might need to make one more move in order to free up space on the roster, so Ujiri may not be done making moves just yet. Regardless of what happens on that front, Temple seems ready to join his 12th NBA team and become a winner with the Raptors.

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