Jason Terry Completes Houston Rockets Backcourt Rotation

By Brett David Roberts

Mar 22, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Boston Celtics shooting guard Jason Terry (4) dribbles the ball against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Celtics 104-94. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

We’d already speculated here on Space City Scoop that Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey may have a trick up his sleeve still in fortifying a Rockets’ bench badly in need of depth both in the backcourt and at the 5-spot. Morey began fixing this issue by dealing for veteran Jason Terry. The Rockets also acquired two second round picks with “JET.”

Terry is now 36 years old, and in the twilight years of what has been a very productive career. He managed just 4.5 points per game in 35 appearance last season, and he ended up with a knee injury that ended his season. Terry has long been known for his value as a sixth man, having won the Sixth Man of the Year award twice thus far in his career. While he may no longer be that quality of player, he will add another dimension to the Rockets backcourt.

Terry is capable of playing both guard spots, and with so many inexperienced players in the backcourt, he’ll serve as a great mentor to Isaiah Canaan, Troy Daniels and rookie Nick Johnson. Terry may eventually lose a lot of his minutes to the younger options, but he’s an important cog in this machine now.

Alonzo Gee was an unnecessary redundancy at small forward after signing both Kostas Papanikolaou and Francisco Garcia.

Terry hasn’t had a productive season since 2011-12 with the Dallas Mavericks, when he averaged 15.1 points and 3.6 assists in 63 appearances. Terry averaged 31.7 minutes per game that year, a figure that dipped to just 16.3 per last season. He’ll likely see at least 20 minutes per game for Kevin McHale, if his body is healthy and able to handle the load.

Terry may not resurrect his former form from just a few seasons ago, but the possibility is not altogether out of the question. He’s a 37.9 percent career three-point shooter, and that’s going to help him a lot in the Rockets offense. Terry will enjoy plenty of wide-open spot up opportunities, and he can get hot in a hurry. Per-36 over his career, Terry has averaged 17 points.

It’s an under the radar trade that very well could pay big dividends for the Rockets. In the event that Patrick Beverley goes down with an injury, the Rockets now have a solid veteran who could usurp a lot of those minutes, if not start at the position. Isaiah Canaan is going to be a good NBA player, but Terry already is and has been. The Rockets upgraded its backcourt depth in a major way at just the cost of a non-rotation player while also snagging a couple of 2nd round picks. That’s winning.