Jack Moore is a contributor to RidiculousUpside.com, SBNation’s D-League blog. In addition, he writes for FanGraphs.com and is the founder of DisciplesofUecker.com, the SweetSpot Network’s Milwaukee Brewers blog. You can follow Jack on Twitter for more on the D-League, Brewers and Wisconsin Badger sports. He’s a smart guy. And here are his thoughts on the Bucks newest addition, Garrett Temple.
With Brandon Jennings not quite ready to return and John Salmons’s short-term future in question, the Bucks dipped into the D-League to reinforce the guard position. The D-Leaguer in question is former LSU Tiger Garrett Temple, whom the Bucks added on a 10-day contract.
From Scott Schroeder’s report at FanHouse, we have this scouting report on Temple.
”Stats are not his thing, he is a team player who is not a volume scorer,” the scout said. “He can defend his position, make open shots, and moves the ball to the open man, which is exactly what many NBA teams need from role players. After maybe a little bit of an NBA hangover, his stats and production will climb back to his normal high standard after he gets acclimated to his new team.”
His D-League stats agree completely with the scouting report. Temple has a respectable but unimpressive 13.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 3.3 APG in 32 minutes per game. Much of his production comes at the three-point line, where Temple has made 39% of his 106 attempts this year. Despite an overall FG% of 42%, Temple’s true shooting mark of 55.6% is just over a percentage point higher than the league average. Temple shows a decent handle and ability to move the ball as well, with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.43. Although it’s hard to quantify defense, it is worth noting that, on top of his 1.0 SPG, both of Temple’s D-League teams (Erie and Rio Grande Valley) are near the top of the league in defensive efficiency.
With Temple’s status as a three-balling, solid D wing player established, it’s no wonder why Scott Skiles and the Bucks staff were willing to add him to the roster. Temple may not get many minutes for the Bucks given that they are relatively strong on the wing, but if he does, what should we expect out of him?
Although this is just an idea at this point and less than a fact etched in stone, I would expect a similar effect as that seen by former D-Leaguer Reggie Williams in his career with the Golden State Warriors so far. Williams has seen a tremendous drop in the volume of his scoring, but that has come mostly due to a drop in the number of possessions he’s used. Although his efficiency has dropped some, it hasn’t fallen far below his D-League levels, as we can see in the chart below.
Since Temple’s usage rate in the D-League was already a middling 19%, there’s a good chance that Temple will be almost invisible in the Bucks offense when he plays. Given that most of Temple’s production comes from his three-point shooting, it will be difficult to quickly judge his ability to score efficiently at the NBA level. One bad shooting stretch could tank Temple’s offensive value and result in a quick trip back the D-League.
However, taking into account Scott Skiles coaching tendencies, Temple’s ability to play defense will probably be more important to his continued presence on the Bucks bench than anything else. Given that Gregg Popovich and the Spurs were enamored enough with Temple to call him up last season, he probably is as good a defender as the above scouting report suggests. It’s hard to say much more than that without seeing him in action, but everything readily available on Temple’s defense is encouraging.
Unfortunately, we can’t really expect Temple to make a big impact for Milwaukee. He will be there to fill a role – make a couple of threes and lock down your opponent. Everything suggests that he can fill this role well, and for the Bucks, there’s absolutely no reason not to give a player like this a chance. The D-League call-up is the ultimate low-risk move, and in this case, I think the Bucks should find a solid back of the rotation player.