We have a trade. Garrett Temple is on his way to the Memphis Grizzlies. In return, the Sacramento Kings receive former King Ben McLemore, along with big man Deyonta Davis, cash considerations and a 2021 second round draft pick.
Temple opted in to the final year of his 3-year, $24 million deal in late June and was due $8 million this season. Lost in the shuffle of young players at shooting guard, Sacramento made it clear to the 32-year-old wing that he was not part of the plan for the 2018-19 season before he picked up his option.
Known for his work in the community and presence in the locker room, the eight-year NBA veteran posted 8.4 points on 39.2 percent shooting from long range in 65 games last season in Sacramento.
After being drafted with the seventh overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft by Sacramento, McLemore spent the first four seasons of his career in a Kings uniform. He signed a two-year deal with the Grizzlies last season and will make $5.4 million this season.
Davis struggled to find court time with the Grizzlies in his first two seasons out of Michigan State. The 6-foot-11, 237 pound center has potential, but he’ll join a crowded frontcourt in Sacramento. He averaged 5.8 points and four rebounds in 15.2 minutes per game in his sophomore season in Memphis.
Sacramento has struggled to find strong veteran leadership over the last decade, but Temple fit the bill. After working his way into the league on 10-day contracts and trips overseas, the LSU grad seemed to find a home with the Kings.
But the emergence of shooting guards Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield made Temple the odd man out in the rotation this season. The Kings were able to break his contract up into smaller pieces in this deal, which opens the door for more transactions.
In a perfect world, the Kings may have looked to move Iman Shumpert instead of Temple, but his injury history and $11.4 million contract for this season is a tough sell in a cash strapped market.
Why McLemore and Davis?
It’s hard to see either of these players sticking around for very long. McLemore struggled to find playing time in his final two seasons in Sacramento and that’s before they had emerging players at his position. It’s unlikely he’ll get another shot at competing for minutes. He makes $5.4 million this season, which can be bought out and either stretched over three years to open more space or paid out in one lump sum this season.
Davis is owed $1.5 million this season, making him an affordable reserve option if the Kings choose to keep him around. He’s on the final year of his rookie contract and is a restricted free agent after this season.
The Kings saved roughly $1 million in cap space with the deal, pushing their available total to approximately $20.5 million.
This deal was more about adding another second round pick and clearing Temple’s $8 million off the books, while finding the veteran a soft landing spot. While the team has yet make their plans known, it would be a surprise to see either McLemore or Davis in a Kings uniform this season.