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Begley: Teams think Nets will pass on Garrett Temple option

Brooklyn Nets v Toronto Raptors - Game Two Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It’s hardly definitive, but Ian Begley of SNY quotes teams saying they “expect” the Nets to decline Garrett Temple’s $5 million option. Here’s Begley’s comment included in his Nets notes Tuesday.

One other roster note for Brooklyn: several teams monitoring the free agent market expect the Nets to decline the $5 million team option on Garrett Temple for 2020-21. Things can always change between now and the date the Nets have to make the decision (some time later this month). But I’d be surprised if the Nets picked up Temple’s option. I don’t know if the decision is based on a potential Nets tax bill, but I wouldn’t assume that it is.

If the Nets decline the team option on Temple, the veteran will get interest from several suitors during free agency.

Temple, 34, had the best statistical season of his career in 2019-20, finishing with averages of 10.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting 32.9 percent from three. His scoring, rebounding and free throw shooting were all tops in his 11 years. He also won kudos for his locker room presence and defense.

But on the other hand, the financial reality must be considered. Bobby Marks has reported that even without Joe Harris making no more than $12 million, the Nets luxury tax payments could be $50 million, fifth highest ever ... without paying a free agent the $5.6 million taxpayers MLE.

Still, there’s been no report quoting anyone inside basketball operations suggesting that the team will not exercise the option. Temple, who lives in Brooklyn with his fiancee’ and new baby, could also re-sign for a lesser amount if the Nets do decline his option.

Temple’s situation has been complicated by the development of Timothe’ Luwawu-Cabarrot who’s nine years younger, has a non-guaranteed vets minimum deal and excelled in the “bubble,” averaging 15 points and shooting nearly 40 percent from three in Orlando. He also showed defensive potential.