Report: Nets expected to decline Garrett Temple’s team option

Nets guard Garrett Temple
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Garrett Temple spent the coronavirus hiatus studying for the LSAT.

He doesn’t have to start his next career just yet. But he might have to switch teams with the Nets holding a $5,005,350 team option on his contract.

Ian Begley of SNY:

several teams monitoring the free agent market expect the Nets to decline the $5 million team option on Garrett Temple for 2020-21.

Are these teams just speculating? There’s plenty of circumstantial evidence to suggest Brooklyn will decline this option:

  • The Nets project to be over the luxury-tax line in a season all teams could lose money.
  • Temple is a solid player. But at 34, he probably won’t draw a $5 million salary on the open market.
  • Brooklyn could always re-sign him with Non-Bird Rights (actually a form of Bird Rights), which would allow a starting salary up to $5,720,400 (120% of his previous salary).
  • Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot played well in the bubble. Nine years younger and more than $3 million cheaper, Luwawu-Cabarrot could replace Temple in the Nets’ rotation.

It’s also possible these teams hold specific insight, which would make this report more valuable. Temple’s agent could be reaching out in advance of his client hitting free agency, signaling Brooklyn’s decision. (Of course, it’s also possible Temple’s agent is just doing due diligence in case the Nets decline the option. Contacted teams wouldn’t necessarily know the difference.)

Temple can still help teams with his reliable professionalism and versatility of perimeter skills. He can credibly play point guard, shooting guard and small forward. Expect a market around the bi-annual exception ($3,623,000).