The NBA’s trade deadline is just weeks away, and the Chicago Bulls are a team with guys that are stirring a lot of interest around the league. The latest name to come up in rumors? Veteran wing Garrett Temple.
Per J Michael of The Indy Star, the Indiana Pacers have approached Chicago about a deal for the 11-year veteran:
The Pacers already have tried to trade for Bulls guard Garrett Temple, a league source with knowledge of the negotiations told IndyStar. While he’s not a post player, the 6-5 combo guard can defend smaller guards and wings, shoot the 3 and has the intangibles of (Thaddeus) Young. He’s also much cheaper on a 1-year, $4.7 million deal. The Bulls, however have showed no interest in dealing him to their division rival.
The 34-year old Temple is averaging 8.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, and two assists this season for the Bulls. He’s started 11 out of 32 games this season and is averaging 9.7 points as a member of the starting five.
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The Pacers Have Little to Offer Chicago
In regards to a straight-up player-for-player swap, it’s hard to see what Indiana would send back for Temple.
Financially, Justin Holiday works. But he also previously spent a season and a half with Chicago and is now a key contributor for the Pacers behind an 11.6 points per game average on the year. Would the Bulls take interest in his brother, 24-year old Aaron Holiday, just three years into his career?
That feels like Indiana selling low on Holiday. Of course, Indiana does have multiple second-round picks in the upcoming 2021 NBA Draft, but even then, is that a fair price for a member of your starting five? Temple is 34 years old, and in the twilight of his career, the back nine as some call it.
But all of that is irrelevant in comparison to his impact on and off the floor in Chicago. The Bulls are a young team that’s been through some up and downs recently. Having a strong veteran voice in a widely respected guy like Temple may be worth more than what teams are willing to pay up for the 11-year veteran.
At least, it sure seems that way, given the nature of the report which states Chicago turned Indiana down.
Don’t Discount Indiana as a Dark Horse Thaddeus Young Destination
Based on the report from Michael, it seems a possibility that the Pacers first reached out about Thaddeus Young’s availability, before pivoting and making an offer for Garrett Temple:
If there was a move that could be made to bring back Young, would they? If money weren’t a factor, probably, but the cost is too steep. He’s due $13.5 million this season, and $14.2 million for next season, unless he’s bought out before July 1 for $6 million. Young is just a guide for the direction the Pacers are looking to strengthen the roster in terms of defense, character and toughness. They’ve been in the hung for a backup 4 who has the size to defend in the post, the agility to defend the wing and flexibility to shoot the 3 since last year’s trade deadline.
You’ll no doubt remember that Young spent a number of years as a member of the Pacers, from 2016 to 2019. His tenure in Indiana ended with him declining his player option and signing with the Bulls in the 2019 offseason.
Temple provides a lot of the things that Young brings to the table, just not at the same frequency or quality. But considering he’s signed just to the veteran minimum, he’s certainly one of the more value guys on the market.
That is if Chicago is willing to part with him at all, in or out of their division.
Despite the Bulls’ reluctance to deal with the Pacers, don’t discount them as a potential trade spot for Young. With the appropriate draft compensation and talent return, they can put together a competitive offer.
The only question is obviously whether Chicago Bulls feel comfortable dealing Thaddeus Young to a division rival. But Garrett Temple is low-impact enough to where that same hesitance might not come into play. Expect to hear his name continue to come up in trade rumors as we get closer and closer to the March 25 deadline.