This might be one of those imponderable questions, like "why is the grass green, except in Kentucky?" Garrett Temple has been on ten NBA teams in eleven years. His first few years were pretty spotty, with short-term contracts on several teams. But since then, except for the Wizards, he's changed teams just about every year. He is a very solid piece of the Bulls' rotation this year, and I assume that he's a good locker room guy. I know he's heavily involved in the players' union, but I wouldn't think that would negatively affect his value to any NBA franchise.
The union thing doesn't. I'm not sure if GMs even know who's a union officer. Chris Paul and LeBron are the two top guys and they seem to have no trouble getting jobs and contracts. By the way, the grass is green there. I went to that blue grass area and it's one of those things where you have to look at it sideways with your hands on your hips with the sun at 4:18 p.m. and then they say, "See it, see it?"
Life and basketball are about opportunity. Though, especially in sports, we hope for the unexpected and then assume everything was meant to be and would have happened that way, that teams that won had to win. You know, because they won. But what if you don't get a chance? It's a curse and a bias that permeates society everywhere. Many who have done well assume that because they did—even though as a contradiction they see themselves as special and unique—then the opportunity was there for others. "My father worked hard every day and I worked hard…" Though it goes back throughout history.
Of course, there are always exceptions. It's opportunity. If you didn't have the same educational opportunities like poor schools, limited access, or actually by law being prevented from being educated like slaves, for example, then you don't learn as much and it becomes the endless cycle that they don't deserve the same chances because they're not as educated even if they didn't get a chance to be educated. That's more a debate for sociology class, though. So let's get to the draft.
Temple wasn't drafted, which with also some exceptions denies you the chance. First round picks have three-year guaranteed contracts, which is nice for them; not so nice for basketball. Teams have invested in them, so they get to stay even if they don't produce. In baseball plenty of first round picks don't make it because they have to produce in the minors. NBA first round picks make it on their name. So roster spots get squeezed with guaranteed contracts. Plus, Temple was a team and defensive guy in college. So he wasn't given a chance to be a scorer and he didn't play point guard so he wasn't a passer or ball handler. He stayed four years, which is another negative and scouting blindspot because teams then decide your ceiling is less to improve. He played defense and left the scoring to others, and for all the talk teams do about the importance of defense, they focus on offense in the draft. Then you get on 10-day contracts and rarely get a chance to play, and if you do they don't let you shoot because they need to find out if their first round pick can play. Most guys don't stick with it. Temple has, and he should get a good contract next season. It would be nice if it were with the Bulls. He's been a star role player this season and one of the best free agent acquisitions in the league this season.