Chicago Bulls: Garrett Temple proving to be free agent steal

The work of first-year executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley on the free agent market last offseason for the Chicago Bulls is coming to the forefront of late. With the Bulls amassing a two-game winning streak heading out of the holiday weekend, the contributions of the bench laden with more veteran depth this season rose to the occasion.

In particular, the Bulls got really nice contributions out of the likes of veteran forward Thaddeus Young and shooting guard Garrett Temple. And it’s not just in the last two games that the latter of those two veteran role players for the Bulls rose to the occasion. Temple has now scored in double figures in three of his last four games (three of which he came off the bench), and the other saw him post nine points.

Young has also played better of late, amassing double figures in scoring while coming off the bench in each of the Bulls last two wins. In face, he’s scored at least a dozen points off the bench in four of his last five games.

Moreover, with the focus on Temple specifically, his play on both ends of the floor likely significantly helped the Bulls wins over the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets on Jan. 17 and 18. Those two outings were two of the highest game scores on the season to date for Temple, and he registered three steals and one block while only turning the ball over twice.

The efficiency for which Temple put on display in the last two games, doing the little things right especially, was something that has to stick out to first-year head coach Billy Donovan. Temple is also shooting much better from all over the floor. He shot nearly 50.0 percent from downtown in the last two games, and shot well over 50.0 percent from the field.

In 13 games played on the season so far for the Bulls (one of which he started in), Temple averaged 9.9 points per game, 2.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.2 blocks. And he’s shot an efficient 48.9 percent from the field, 43.1 percent from beyond the arc, and 80.0 percent from the free-throw line.

The play that the Bulls are getting out of Temple of late is showing that he could very well be a steal off the free agent market from last offseason. Karnisovas and Eversley signed Temple to a one-year contract worth around $5 million, after an up and down 2019-20 campaign with the Brooklyn Nets.

Up next for Temple and the Bulls is a meeting with the Charlotte Hornets on the road on Jan. 22, with tip off time set for 6 p.m. CT. The Bulls will carry their two-game winning streak, and overall record of 6-8, into that meeting with the also 6-8 Hornets.