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Garrett Temple: A player for all seasons

Indiana Pacers v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

People tend to forget that on the night of June 30, the night of the “Clean Sweep,” the Nets reached agreements with FOUR free agents: Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, DeAndre Jordan ... and Garrett Temple. While the first three got a lot of attention, Temple was not an add-on. Irving wanted him on the Nets.

As James Herbert of CBS Sports reports in his profile of Temple...

Irving wanted Temple to know that he respects his game, and that when the star point guard committed to the Nets, he gave management a list of targets he’d like them to pursue. Temple’s name was on it.

The Nets gave Temple the room exception, $10 million over two years, with the second year a team option. Temple is the 33-year-old journeyman it seems every contender needs, the guy who everyone on the bench respects, a self-described “chill guy.” So much so that he’s likely to be the next president of the players’ union, the NBPA.

Joe Harris said that his teammate is easily qualified to run … for President of the United States ... as Herbert notes.

“I guess you have to be 35 years old, right?” Harris said, showing a more than cursory knowledge of the U.S. Constitution. “A couple years, if he wants to retire, get into politics. That’s Garrett Temple, right there.”

“First of all,” Dzanan Musa said, overhearing the conversation, “Garrett, as Joe said, can run for President right now.”

Caris LeVert said that after he signed his $52.5 million extension, Temple provided him with investment advice on real estate.

But no NBA player has been as effusive in his praise as Bradley Beal, every ESPN pundits’ choice for the Nets third superstar.

“I always tell everybody he’s the best teammate I’ve ever had,” Beal told Herbert. “For sure. Everything he stood for, and just the way he carried himself -- I don’t want to gas him up, but just the way he carried himself was perfect. I almost wanted to mimic that in a way and carry myself the same way.”

Beal said in fact that when he was rookie and Temple a member of the Wizards, the two ate together every day, got shots up together. Beal counted on him as his best friend.

The love for Temple extends to Michele Roberts, the dynamic executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, who calls him the model union member and player rep, saying, “If we here at the PA could create the prototype member, it would be him.”

”Garrett is perfect,” Roberts added, and Beal called him a “humble, God-fearing, perfect guy you want to be around.”

Temple didn’t have it easy early on. As Herbert writes...

He is known as a solid, reliable role player now, but he spent a year in Italy, signed nine 10-day contracts and suited up for six NBA teams and three G League teams before he started a season on a fully guaranteed deal.

The Nets are now his ninth team. How long with his play. He’s taken the NBPA’s leadership program, four times. He has also taken the coaches program, and has received votes for the active player who will make the best coach in three straight GM surveys, Herbert notes.

For now, of course, he’s a player with the Nets, one revered by Musa to Irving. Plenty to time to think about the future.