Temple thinks Bulls on way to being free agent destination

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In 11 NBA seasons, Garrett Temple has spent stints with 10 different franchises. The 35-year-old journeyman has experienced it all.

Nearing the completion of his first campaign with the Bulls, he's seen enough to want to hang around a bit longer. And one day soon, he thinks more NBA players will see the organization similarly.

It starts at the top, Temple says, where executive vice president Artūras Karnišovas and general manager Marc Eversley have implemented a close-knit culture that he, as a player, finds "refreshing."

"I think AK and Marc have done a great job," Temple told reporters after the team's shootaround in Detroit on Sunday. "Have done a great job showing that they keep things close to the vest, that they understand the business, and deal with a level of privacy that’s refreshing in today’s NBA."

The front office's roster-building strategy has impressed as well. Temple cited myriad moves -- from drafting Patrick Williams fourth overall in the 2020 draft, to swinging trades for two-time All-Star Nikola Vučević and the versatile Daniel Theis at the deadline -- as evidence of having "an eye for talent."

"I think people that understand and are free agents and things of that nature, are probably looking at the Bulls front office as a place, a group of people that know what they’re doing for sure," Temple said.

The Bulls will need an unlikely late-season push to sneak into the play-in tournament, and have already clinched a fourth consecutive season with a below-.500 record.

Still, Temple sees steps forward in both tangible and intangible ways. 

"The talent that we have is undeniable. The last two games we’ve shown what we can do when we’re fully healthy and guys are playing at levels we can play at," he said. "So to see that it makes it even more disappointing (to potentially miss playoffs). But at the end of the day there’s still a pathway and we’ve got to worry about what we can control and let the chips fall where they may.’’

Temple's one-year, $4.8 million contract -- which undersold his impact as a veteran leader, perimeter defender and spot-up shooter -- expires this offseason, and the Bulls have plenty of moves to make in the offseason. But he hopes to stick around and help this group continue to grow.

"Yeah, no question. I love what we’re doing here. I love the coaching staff. I’m enjoying the front office. I’m really enjoying being around the guys," Temple said when asked if he hoped to be back next season. "For example in Detroit last night we were hanging out together in the lobby area, talking and playing cards. Those type of things. Not every team is like that. I enjoy being here. And I would love to see what we could do to progress this type of team.

"We have the talent. We’re young. We could make some great steps in the next year or two."

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