Garrett Temple the starting shooting guard for the Sacramento Kings?

SACRAMENTO, CA - JANUARY 18: Garrett Temple
SACRAMENTO, CA - JANUARY 18: Garrett Temple /

 Today, we take a look at James Ham’s recent article on Garrett Temple and why his assertion that he is the starting shooting guard may not be the case.

James Ham is a must follow for all Sacramento Kings fans.  He does a phenomenal job covering the team.  Ham wrote a must-read recent piece about the always underappreciated Garrett Temple that you can find here.  Seriously, give it a read you will not regret it.

I have some mixed feelings about the strong claims he makes in the article, though.  Let us take a look at his opinion that Temple will be the starting shooting guard and where I disagree.

Temple the starter?

Ham claims that Garrett Temple is the “likely starter at the two” and I just do not see the backing for this assertion.  Temple has never really been a starter in his NBA career.  He has only started 122 of his 374 games, according to Basketball-Reference.  Last season, Temple began the game in just 21 of his 65 contests.  Now at 31 years old, he is suddenly going to be the regular starter for the rebuilding Sacramento Kings?

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Furthermore, Buddy Hield started 18 of his 25 games with the Kings last season.  He started every single game after March 10.  Temple played in 14 of those contests and started next to Hield six times.  Taking that a step further, Basketball-Reference tracks Hield playing shooting guard 72% of his minutes for Sacramento last season and 26% at small forward.  Temple‘s distribution is 45% at the two and 53% at the three.  I think if Temple starts, he is the nominal three, a position I have been touting Sacramento is lacking a true option and starter at all offseason.

Why is Temple the three?

Ham nails it in his article why Temple deserves to be a starter.  His defense and ability to play both off the ball and as a secondary or tertiary ball handler have me regarding him as the three (Ham mentions in his article Temple will play some three), though.  Hield is the shooter and scorer hence the name shooting guard, but Temple is the do a little bit of everything wing.  I agree with Ham completely that Sacramento will need Temple’s defense and that alone will earn him significant minutes in the coming season.

Bogdan a factor?

Ham also mentions the front office’s feelings about Bogdan Bogdanovic in his article.  I could see Bogdanovic working his way into the starting lineup as well at either the two or the three position.  I do not think it matters who starts as much as it is who gets the most minutes and who is closing games for the team.

Bogdanovic looks like an offensive monster and a superior defender than Hield, but monitor his transition to the NBA.  It is always difficult to predict how international talent will fare adjusting to both living in a new country and the NBA style of play.

Training camp battle

The fight for minutes on the wing is the thing to watch at training camp.  These three guys plus Malachi Richardson will be battling it out for those 96 minutes at the two and three.  You have to figure George Hill and De’Aaron Fox share the backcourt in spurts.  Vince Carter and Justin Jackson should play some minutes at the three, as well.  The rest of the run will be divided up between Hield, Bogdanovic, Temple, and Richardson.  Keep an eye on the rotations during the preseason for a key to who is leading the battle for minutes come opening night.

Final thoughts

Ultimately, I think the Sacramento Kings are undecided on who starts at the two and three this season at this moment.  I believe they are going to let the players battle it out during training camp and the preseason to decide it.  It would not surprise me if Garrett Temple is the starter, but I am not even willing to match Ham’s “likely” at this moment.  If I were a betting man (and I am not), I think the Kings start Hield and Bogdanovic.  Temple appears satisfied coming off the bench and for a rebuilding squad that is an opportunity for valuable minutes playing what you hope is your wing combination on your next playoff team together.  I would not be surprised to see Temple earn more minutes than either player, but for me, he does it coming off the bench.

I also completely agree with Ham that the team needs Temple’s leadership and locker room presence.  That may be his most important role this season.  Luckily, he proved last year he is the right man for the job and I expect that to continue this season.

Follow James Ham on Twitter @James_HamNBCS and read his stellar work here.

Next: 2018 NBA mock draft 1.0

A Royal Pain is your one stop shop for all things Sacramento Kings.  We have a tremendous amount of content about the offseason up on the site.  Now, we look to give you all the information you need to prepare for training camp, so please check back with us frequently.  Thank you for reading.