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Jason Terry has been instrumental for the Dallas Mavericks over the past few years in their sustained success and 2011 championship run. However, with the Mavs looking to rebuild around Dirk Nowitzki and bring in some much-needed youth, Terry has likely played his last game in Dallas.
Some team will certainly pay a hefty sum for the 6'2" guard, who has the ability to play off the ball but also run the offense and facilitate. While Terry certainly still has some good basketball left to play, any potential suitor should be very cautious in throwing a multi-year deal his way.
At 34 years old, Terry's best playing days are behind him and his effectiveness in Dallas was heavily impacted by his role on the team and the system the Mavs ran. Terry, being the leader of the second unit, was able to be the main option on offense for most of his time on the court and still works best as a volume scorer.
Last season, Terry averaged 15.1 points per game, an impressive number for a bench player, but it was his second-lowest scoring average since joining Dallas in 2004. In addition, his 43 percent shooting from the field was the lowest of his Mavericks career and is something that often deteriorates for scoring guards as they age. Terry cannot be a primary scoring option anymore, so he must go somewhere that already has multiple go-to guys.
Terry is still an offensive threat in his own right, but he did benefit from the presence of Dirk Nowitzki. With Nowitzki's ability to hit outside shots, opposing forwards and centers had to step outside the paint to guard him, creating open lanes that catered to a slasher like Terry. On a team with traditional, low-post scoring bigs, those lanes won't always be there, and as Terry ages he won't be able to create separation for his jump shot as easily.
In addition, Terry is an extremely poor one-on-one defender. He has quick hands and can create a turnover once in a while, but his lack of size and strength make it easy for his man to beat him, and he often struggles to guard the bigger, more physical 2-guards in the NBA. Because of the Mavericks' use of a zone defense, his shortcomings were tempered, but any team should be wary that an opponent can attack Terry on the defensive end with ease.
Jason Terry is the kind of player who could make a significant impact on a playoff team, but if he ends up signing with a team that is an appropriate fit, of which there are many, he could prove to be one of the worst free-agent pickups of the summer.
Potential Destinations: Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets