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Free Agency, NBA / Jun 18, 2012 / 3:00 pm

Report: If Dallas ‘Rents’ In 2012-13, Count Jason Terry Out

Jason Terry

Jason Terry (photo. Katrin Auch for Activision)

With NBA free agency beginning in less than two weeks on July 1, this year’s class will be used as a building block in a couple ways. Outside of the race for Deron Williams, it’s widely seen as a chance for teams to position themselves in the Dwight Howard or Chris Paul sweepstakes. If the Dallas Mavericks build next season’s team with the latter goal in mind — instead of winning — Jason Terry won’t return.

Terry said that to the Dallas Morning News on Sunday, saying that it’s the case should Dallas choose to keep its money free for next summer (or if Dallas whiffs on wooing Williams) by signing one-year deals for many players. In effect, renting them for the year while keeping long-term money free.

“I won’t be here,” Terry said if the Mavericks take that route. “You can count on that. If they’re doing that, you won’t see the Jet on the runway in Dallas. But my time here was good.”

Terry doesn’t want to be part of a team that dumps salary like the New York Knicks in the two years before the blockbuster free agency class of 2010. His $57 million deal that lasted six years is up on July 1, and he believes he can now dictate where he wants to land. But even if he were to bolt, he still expects to stay in Dallas in some capacity after his career is over, he said.

“Down the road as a player or in some capacity within the organization,” he said. “Obviously, my foundation will remain active in Dallas. And for me, coming back and working for the organization in one position or another has been discussed, and [owner Mark] Cuban and I are on the same page.”

While all NBA owners have enough business savvy to become owners in the first place, this arrangement makes perfect sense for an owner like Mark Cuban. The guy who’s appeared on a TV show about bidding on start-up companies is known for his emotion-less business decisions. He looks at just the facts in front of him, as JET would be doing if he didn’t agree with the Mavs’ short-term strategy. Terry’s banking that the day-to-day business wouldn’t affect their long-term partnership.

What kind of offer should Terry command?

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