The conventional wisdom has been that when looking at which of the Dallas Mavericks six free agents the team bring back for next season, Tyson Chandler is on the top of the list (as he should be). DeShawn Stevenson was near the bottom.
But that’s not the way Jason Terry sees it.
Terry, Dallas’ spark off the bench, told ESPN Dallas he really wants Stevenson back next season and he is pushing for it.
“Oh, we got to get DeShawn back. Unless you can find another guy like DeShawn,” Terry said. “DeShawn just has ‘it.’ Whatever that is, it’s special and I’m a guy that’s fighting for him to be back with the Mavericks….
“What he did in this organization for us, you can’t put a price on it. Because me, watching the playoff series, not only the championship, but the first, second, third rounds, he defended his butt off and he set the tempo for us,” Terry said. “That kind of toughness you can’t buy. It has to be in you. He’s one of the few guys in this league that has that and it’s special, it’s unique and I believe it’s at premium. And, I think it’s something that we have to have on our team going forward.
“Is Rudy Fernandez that type of player? Not that I know. He’s more offensive-minded. Is he tough? Yeah, he’s tough, but to guard Kobe [Bryant] and [Kevin] Durant and LeBron [James] and Dwyane Wade, you have to have a certain nastiness about you, and DeShawn Stevenson has that.”
The other factor in whether or not Stevenson is back with the Mavs is Caron Butler — if he returns, and if Rodrigue Beaubois is healthy — there may not be room for another guard on the roster. Minutes will be hard to come by, that you can be sure of.
But we know where Jason Terry’s heart lies.