SALT LAKE CITY — It remains to be seen how long Dante Exum will be out with a torn ACL in his left knee, but the Utah Jazz will soon have to decide how they will go forward in his absence.
While Utah could simply stand pat with third-year player Trey Burke, Brazilian rookie Raul Neto and summer league standout Bryce Cotton, it's also possible the Jazz could look elsewhere around the NBA to shore up their point guard platoon.
One interesting possibility has emerged.
The Jazz are interested in pursuing a trade for Wizards guard Garrett Temple, the Deseret News has been informed.
According to a source, Jazz coach Quin Snyder is a proponent of the 6-foot-6 Temple, who would give the team a big defensive presence in Exum's absence.
Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey refuted the notion that the Jazz are discussing potential temporary replacements for Exum. At this point, he believes that would be insensitive to Exum and his parents.
"There is a bunch of speculation out there right now," Lindsey said during an interview with 1280 The Zone on Thursday. "Quin and my mindset are exactly the same at this particular time. We’re concerned about Dante Exum and the long-term care. We’ve had no conversations whatsoever about anyone else outside the Utah Jazz."
That said, both Snyder and Lindsey have relationships with Temple, dating back to their time at San Antonio. While Temple was with the Spurs for the first time at the end of the 2009-10 season, Snyder got to know him in his capacity as the coach of San Antonio's D-League affiliate, the Austin Toros. Lindsey was the Spurs' assistant general manager at the time.
Temple is a 29-year-old player who was undrafted out of LSU but has since bounced around the league, including stints with the Rockets, Kings, Spurs, Bucks, Bobcats and Wizards, along with gigs in the D-League and Europe.
As the Jazz roster currently stands, third-year player Trey Burke would likely take over the starting point guard duty. Behind him, Utah has two inexperienced playmakers in Neto and Cotton, a D-League call-up late last season.
The Wizards would like cap relief, so they'd get that from the Jazz if the trade pans out. Utah likely wouldn't give up any assets.
Temple is set to earn a minimum contract of $1.1 million this season after opting in with the Wizards this offseason. The combo guard had 18 starts and averaged 3.9 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists last season with Washington.
In response to the news that Temple is a possible Jazz target, Wizards beat writer J. Michael of CSNWashington tweeted: "I just talked to Temple. Hasnt heard anything yet but admits 'good relationship' w/Snyder from DLeague."
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