Whether Jason Terry ever suits up for the Kings remains a mystery, but the team is fine with the veteran guard returning to his home in Dallas to get healthy.
The Kings announced Saturday that Terry would not be with the team for the rest of the season as he rehabilitates his left knee.
Terry was acquired from Brooklyn with forward Reggie Evans on Wednesday for guard Marcus Thornton.
Terry has one season left on a contract worth $5.45 million. The Kings could still agree to a buyout after the season. Terry, 36,likely will want his full salary in any deal, considering his age and recent injury issues.
Terry’s contract would still count against the salary cap if he’s bought out, too.
The Kings are willing to allow Terry to get healthy and see where the roster is before making any decisions.
“I wouldn’t say Jason Terry is going to be here or not be here,” Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro said. “Right now, he’s a Sacramento King, and we’ll be monitoring him and I’ll be talking to him regularly.”
Terry, the 2009 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, is in his 15th season, averaging a career-low 4.5 points in 35 games. Terry had surgery on his left knee last season, and it bothered him with the Nets.
“I want to thank the Kings for their understanding during this process,” Terry said in a statement. “Through my interactions with the front office and medical staff, it’s clear that the organization cares about its players and has their best interest at heart. I’m confident that rehab presents the best opportunity to be ready for next season.”
The Kings want to play rookie guards Ben McLemore and Ray McCallum, so not having Terry isn’t an issue.
“The fact is he explained to me his knee had been bothering him a little, and I said it’s fine,” D’Alessandro said. “We wanted to get our young guys in the game right now, and Jason Terry not at 100 percent doesn’t make sense for him or us.”
D’Alessandro said the decision for Terry not to join the team was mutually agreed upon when Terry met with him Friday in Sacramento.
“If he’s not feeling 100 percent and he feels he can get there, we have no problem,” D’Alessandro said. “He’s a worker, he’s a vet, he knows what it takes, and I think it was a really mutual and amicable conversation.”
D’Alessandro plans to communicate with Terry and his agent throughout the season and offseason to determine if and how Terry might fit going forward.
“You want to make sure if this does go further you want to make sure we’re staring in the right place, and I think we are,” D’Alessandro said.
Evans on board – Evans was in uniform for Saturday night’s game against the Boston Celtics at Sleep Train Arena.
He did not practice Friday because results from Terry’s physical were not complete but was able to participate in the team’s shootaround Saturday morning.