The Sacramento Kings may have known they had no intentions of letting Jason Terry play this season – they may not have.
But the veteran guard, who was acquired by the Kings during the NBA’s trade deadline this past week will not play for the Kings during the 2014 as he’ll remain home where he rehab’s his ‘injury’.
Now, in fairness to Terry – he does actually have a medical issue, but it’s one he could play through. Effectively? That’s a different argument, but he’s certainly able to get on the floor if need be.
Issue is? Terry likely isn’t overly thrilled playing for a sub-par team and the Kings don’t need a veteran with no future on the squad clogging up their rotation.
Sacramento acquired Terry – not for his leadership quality or declining basketball skills – but rather to rid themselves of Marcus Thornton‘s albatross of a contract and to clear playing time for young players like Ben McLemore and Ray McCallum. Nothing more, nothing less.
Terry didn’t want to spend time on the bench, maybe getting ten minutes of garbage time every few nights at the expense of the Kings youthful players. And Sacramento didn’t want to be forced into playing Terry any minutes as it’s just time taken away from their young guns.
So does Terry ever play for the Kings? It’s possible come next season, but relatively unlikely. There’s not much reason for the Kings to buy out Terry at this point given they wouldn’t save much money. What they’ll likely do is attempt to move the veteran guard come the NBA Draft (or later in the Summer) and use his $5 million dollar expiring contract as bait. Cutting Terry is essentially losing an asset, which you don’t want to do – especially when you can use it in a trade down the road. If he was an expiring contract right now, it would be a different story but he’s still of value if for nothing more than a dump in a trade.
In the end, the Kings secured playing time for their young guys, broke up a very large contract (in Marcus Thornton) to two, more tradeable contracts and now have an expiring trade chip for next season to go alongside Travis Outlaw, Reggie Evans and Derrick Williams.
Combine those players and you have about $16 million in expiring deals.