Before the 2010-11 season, Jason Terry had the Larry O’Brien Trophy, given to the NBA champion, tattooed on his bicep.
If you ignore similar tattoos he got with the Celtics and Nets, Terry – who helped Dallas clinch the 2011 title – is a true Maverick.
He’s spent a majority of his 15-year career in Dallas. He declared his intention to retire with the Mavericks, and he hopes they’ll someday retire his jersey. He even accused the Spurs of intentionally shutting off the air conditioning on LeBron James and the Heat in the NBA Finals, a dig at rival San Antonio any paranoid Dallas fan would appreciate
Terry on ESPN Radio-Dallas, as transcribed by Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee:
“I won’t rule out returning back to Dallas,” Terry said. “It’s my home and my heart. I bleed blue. I’m a Maverick.”
Well, noooo…. Terry is a King.
For now anyway.
Terry is trying really hard to angle his way out of Sacramento, and this comment jams the wedge in deeper. He never joined the Kings when traded to Sacramento mid-season, and he gave incredibly
accurate blunt assessments of DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay.
The Kings would probably be amenable to waiving Terry – as long he gives up a portion of the $5,850,313 he’s guaranteed next season. First, they might try to use his expiring contract to facilitate a trade, maybe for Josh Smith. If Terry is waived, his buyout is stuck on the books and unmovable.
If Terry is traded due only to his salary – like he was from Brooklyn to Sacramento – he can start transparently lobbying his way out of his next destination. For now, he’s focused on convincing the Kings to rid themselves of him and doing a pretty solid job.
Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.
Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.
Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”
That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)
Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.
But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.
I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.
The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.
Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.
Enter Greg Smith.
Scott Kushner of The Advocate:
Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.
But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.
Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.