Houston Rockets Preseason Roster Review: Shooting Guard

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Jan 10, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets shooting guard

Jason Terry

(31) dribbles against Miami Heat power forward

Chris Andersen

(11) during the second half at Barclays Center. The Brooklyn Nets won the game 104-95 in double overtime. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Terry – 6’2”, 180, 37 years old

To be honest, to me the move to pick up Jason Terry, by GM Daryl Morey was based on 3 separate reasons and was only partly based on anything as far as on the court playing the game of basketball.

One, it’s a low risk role of the dice on an aging veteran who has been a good player in his career to see if he has anything left in the tank at age 37 and coming off of an injury. According to Terry he’s healthy now and wasn’t last year.

Two, the Rockets were essentially paid 2nd round draft picks to take his salary off the Sacramento Kings hands. And in doing so it allowed the Rockets to consolidate 2 non-guaranteed salaries (Alonzo Gee and Scotty Hopson) that they only picked up for the purpose of using in a future trade.

Dec 27, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Jason Terry (31) shoots in second half against the Milwaukee Bucks at Barclays Center. Nets won 104-93. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Per NBA trade rules on salary matching, if the Rockets do get a chance to trade for a star or borderline star before the trade deadline, look for the Rockets to use Terry’s salary in the trade whether he’s in the playing rotation or not. And with Terry that 5 million plus salary only takes up 1 of the 15 roster spots instead of 2.

And lastly the move was also likely made to appease Head Coach Kevin McHale and give him a veteran guard that might be able to provide some leadership and possibly replace some of what Jeremy Lin did for the Rockets if young players Isaiah Canaan, Troy Daniels and Nick Johnson fail step up and seize the opportunity to be in McHale’s rotation, coming off the bench.

At the moment the big question is, does Jason Terry have anything left? In Terry’s 15-year career he has averaged 32 minutes, 15.4 points and 4.4 assists per game. He has also shot 38% from the 3-point range to go with 85% from the free throw line. Last season Terry could only manage 4.5 points per game in only 35 games and 16 minutes per game.

Terry who is a small shooting guard and can fill in briefly at the point or leave the ball in Harden’s hand and play off of him, has blamed this dramatic drop off on injury. He is however, 37-years old and the question has to be asked if that’s the larger reason for his injuries that usually often happens late in player’s careers. The secondary question for Terry is, will he happily accept the role of veteran leadership if his minutes aren’t what he expects?

GM Daryl Morey would likely prefer that Canaan and Daniels step up and hold their own as the reserves at those positions off the bench, but even in that case he likely will still find a way to use Terry’s salary slot in trade. There is the chance that Terry hold off father time for one more season and really steps up to provide some offense off the bench.

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