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Why one team's interest in Garrett Temple makes sense

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Why one team's interest in Garrett Temple makes sense

Garrett Temple is on his way back to D.C. to work out at Verizon Center with some of his teammates before training camp beings, he told CSNwashington.com via phone Thursday afternoon, just as the Wizards' backup guard had his name appear in relation to the Utah Jazz.

It was news to him as he insists he hasn't heard from the Wizards or his agent, John Hamilton, about it. That doesn't mean, of course, that he won't when he gets here. Jazz beat reporter Jody Genessy of the Deseret News first floated this possibility earlier in the day:

Temple, traveling from his hometown of Baton Rouge, La., is a backup guard, mostly playing off the ball but good enough to handle it to break the pressure on John Wall, who opted into the second year of his deal in June. 

MORE WIZARDS: HAIL TO THE CHIEF

The Jazz just lost second-year guard Dante Exum to a knee ligament tear earlier this week and are in need of depth. The Wizards, who already have Ramon Sessions and Gary Neal ahead of Temple in their rotation, have the maximum 15 guaranteed contracts for the 2015-16 regular season. They prefer to leave one spot open for flexibility going in to January when players are bought out of their deals and the trade deadline in February.

Temple admits he has a "good relationship" with Jazz coach Quin Snyder from their days in the D-League. He also knows Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey well from his brief stint with the San Antonio Spurs, too. 

Such a move could give the Wizards salary cap relief pending on the swap (sending trade exception or unguaranteed deal for Temple that could be waived without penalty). The Wizards over the cap but still under the luxury tax which is an important distinction.

Still, this is a big if. They like Temple because of the options he gives them defensively with his wingspan and ability on that end. Even if he doesn't play much, he's used in end-of-game situations or to help make key defensive stands. Plus, the really like what Temple has brought to the locker room which has been a priority during the Wizards' rebuild back to respectability.

As good as new acquisitions Jared Dudley, Alan Anderson and Gary Neal can be on offense, they may feel Temple's defense makes him worth keeping. 

Hamilton told CSNwashington.com later Thursday that he hasn't been informed by the Wizards that any such move is under consideration with Temple. This is still in the early stages. It could amount to something, or absolutely nothing. 

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Wizards vs. Trail Blazers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Wizards vs. Trail Blazers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Wizards head to the West Coast to open a road swing against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.

Wizards (0-2) are looking for their first win when the head into Portland to face Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers (2-0).

After this game, the Wizards have a tough stretch ahead of them before playing in D.C. again, playing at: Golden State, Sacramento, LA (Lakers) and Memphis.

WIZARDS vs. TRAIL BLAZERS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards vs. Miami Heat, 2018 NBA regular season Game 3
Where: Moda Center, Portland, Ore.
When: 10:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: The Wizards vs. Trail Blazers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Trail Blazers on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the new MyTeams App.
Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. TRAIL BLAZERS TV SCHEDULE

8:30 PM: D.C. Sports Live (LIVE)

9:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)

9:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)

10:00 PM: Wizards @ Portland Trail Blazers (LIVE)

WIZARDS vs. BLAZERS INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: Dwight Howard remains day-to-day with a back injury.
Trail Blazers: None

WIZARDS vs. BLAZERS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bradley Beal, Wizards: After becoming the Wizards franchise leader in 3 points on Saturday, it is likely Beal will have a lot to prove to help the team get its first win.

Otto Porter, Jr., Wizards: Porter has had a slow start, so will he take more shots in Portland?

Damian Lillard, Portland: The Blazers' star is leading the way this season averaging 28.5 ppg and 6.5 assists per game. 

WIZARDS vs. BLAZERS SERIES HISTORY 

Number of all-time Meetings: 111 games
Regular Season Record: Blazers lead 57-54
Last Meeting: Wizards won 106-92 in December 2017

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Dwight Howard 'out' for game vs. Trail Blazers, does not travel with team

Dwight Howard 'out' for game vs. Trail Blazers, does not travel with team

Due to an ongoing buttocks injury, Dwight Howard is listed as "out" for the Wizards' Monday night game in Portland against the Trail Blazers. Howard did not travel out west with the team for the five-game trip, according to NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller.

The news comes just four days after Wizards head coach Scott Brooks told the media that Howard would "definitely" make the trip. 

The veteran power forward was signed to the Wizards on a two-year free-agent deal in July worth $11 million, but has missed the Wizards' first two games of the regular season and all five of the team's preseason games. 

In Howard's absence, Brooks has turned to Ian Mahinmi, but his foul trouble has proved worrisome for the Wizards' lineup so far.

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