Editor's Note: Front-paged
So in case you haven't noticed, I get really bored at work. So I needed a topic that I could drag into a series of posts, and I thought, why not give a thorough evaluation of our players: what teams they may sign with, at what price, and what kind of production/role can be expected of them. Consider it a more in-depth version of ESPN Dallas's countdown they have done over the past couple of weeks. I will kick the series off with none other than our fan favorite Jason Eugene Terry.
Last Season - 43.1 FG%, 37.8 3pt%, 3.6 Ast, 2.0 TO, 1.2 Steal, 15.82 PER, 54.1 TS%, 23.35 USG
These are the relevant stats for JET. Anything produced outside of these categories is extra. The JET makes his money from the high pick and roll and spot-up shooting on the weak-side. He also is very good at curling off of pin-down screens for a mid-range jumper. His favorite move is to pull-up while coming off of a screen going to his right toward the baseline. He offers decent playmaking, but JET is always looking to shoot. And that's basically it. Defensively, he can be a decent player in the passing lanes without too much gambling, but his size really hurts him guarding twos, and at 34, he lacks the quickness to guard today's ones.
JET is an excellent jump shooter who is near automatic when left open or pulling up while dribbling right. He's not great finishing in the lane or when going left. He and Dirk have THE BEST 2-man game in the league, especially in the 4th quarter. It isn't even close. Terry and Dirk are both routinely top 7 in points in the 4th quarter, and we all know Terry isn't afraid to take the big shot as evidenced by his facial on Lebron to clinch game 4, backing up his statement that Lebron can't shut him down for 7 games.
The biggest problems that JET encounters when looking to re-sign with the Mavs are age and price. The JET has declined in nearly all of his key categories over the past 3-4 years. His 3pt shooting and assist have remained steady, but his overall FG% has declined, and his turnovers have increased. To me this seems to be because he cannot get the separation in his midrange game that he is used to getting. He doesn't possess the same speed to increase separation coming off screens, which makes for more contested (harder) shots. Defenses have also put more focus on Terry and "letting" Dirk "get his" instead. (Side note: They aren't letting Dirk do anything. They instead realize, "Oh, we cannot stop him. Don't waste extra energy, just shut down the JET instead. This phrase has never made any sense when applied to any superstar, except maybe Dwight Howard.) The JET is clearly on the decline, and I feel it will only get worse in the coming seasons.
That being said, if he would come at an affordable price ($2m-$3m), and a reduced length on the contract (only 2 guaranteed years - the real problem), I think things would work out. Unfortunately, JET's ego will not allow this. CTC, or Cut the Check, was written on his shoes for most of the season. JET wants to get paid, and he wants all 4 years guaranteed. He knows it's his last legitimate contract. He needs to lock up his security for the future. I don't blame the guy; it just sucks for everyone involved.
Price will be very interesting for the JET. He made over $10m last year. He also is extremely overconfident. JET probably values himself in the $7m-$8m range, but will probably end up as someone's mid-level exception. JET will want a contender, and they only have the mid-level exception to offer. This caps him at $5m this season, or $3m if the team is over the cap. Teams that will show interest are the Heat, Celtics, OKC, Bulls, Knicks, Magic, and Indiana. I do not think he fits well with the Heat, but the other teams really could use him. Imagine OKC with Ibacka, Durant, Harden, JET, Westbrook. That offense would obliterate most teams. He would basically be replacing Derek Fisher. Presti is too smart to overpay JET though, especially since Ibaka and Harden will be up for extensions soon. The Bulls could use him to replace Hamilton, but they are very similar players, and I do not think they want to admit that they screwed up with Hamilton this early. Celtics are a complete wild card. Who knows which direction they are headed? The Knicks would be dumb enough to overpay him, thinking he is the missing piece. Ditto for the Magic (except Otis Smith is gone now so maybe they will get smarter). Indiana would be a good fit for a 2-year contract, but I don't think they will appeal to the JET. If I were the JET, I would try to convince Chicago that they need my offense, especially with DRose out. That is his best fit. Their defense can cover for him, and he can carry the offense when DRose is on the bench. With this in mind, he would be forced to sign for the mini mid-level at $3m. Is this too big of a hit on JET's ego? Only Jason Eugene Terry knows for sure.
Personally, I think the JET's time here has flown (couldn't resist). Even if we strike out on Deron, there are far better options. OJ Mayo won't be too much more expensive, and he is far younger. Lou Williams is built just like the JET (if you want a JET clone), but once again younger. And lastly, Roddy can fill that role, and he really needs an opportunity for a consistent role to further his development.
And with that I say farewell Jason Eugene Terry. Even though I'm turning you out into the cold to be replaced by a stranger, you will always have a place in my heart. I hated you in 2004 because you weren't Nash. I further hated you in 2006 even though you were amazing in the finals because I needed a scapegoat, and Nash had just won consecutive MVP's. Eventually, I realized that you weren't Steve Nash. When I quit giving you Steve Nash expectations, you then grew in my heart. Last postseason, you forever cemented your legacy with the Mavs (exceeding Steve Nash), and erased all doubt that losing Nash was the correct decision. I will shed a tear every time I see those wings spread in another uniform. It's a shame that you cannot finish your career here, but that is the business side of basketball. Here's to one of the Mavs All-Time greats. The JET has left the runway.