Jason Terry is still a King, even as he longs to return to the franchise with which he had his greatest success.
Terry was quoted in an interview on ESPN Radio-Dallas on Tuesday saying he would like to rejoin the Dallas Mavericks. The 36-year-old guard said he considers the Mavericks among the top four teams in the Western Conference after their offseason moves, which included reacquiring center Tyson Chandler from New York, signing small forward Chandler Parsons from Houston and re-signing All-Star power forward Dirk Nowitzki.
“I won’t rule out returning back to Dallas,” Terry said. “It’s my home and my heart. I bleed blue. I’m a Maverick.”
Terry played for Dallas from 2004 to 2012, winning NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2009 and an NBA championship in 2011.
The Kings obtained Terry and forward Reggie Evans from Brooklyn for guard Marcus Thornton in February. Evans reported to the Kings, eventually becoming a starter. Terry reported, too, but because of a lingering knee issue and the Kings’ desire to play younger players, it was agreed Terry could rehab in Dallas.
Terry is under contract for the coming season and is due $5.45 million. The Kings would not be opposed to trading Terry but have no intention of buying him out of his deal. They maintain he is a King and barring a trade, they expect him to be with the team in the fall.
Terry told radio host Doug Gottlieb in May he’d like to play three to four more seasons. With that limited window, Terry would prefer to be on a contender, a hope he expressed Tuesday.
“I don’t like the fact when I go to sleep at night that Dwyane Wade has three (championships), Ray Allen has two, LeBron (James) has two,” Terry said in the interview. “That bothers me. I want to get back on a team that has a realistic shot to win a championship, and I think Dallas is doing those types of things.
“I think there will be some more conversations with my agent (B.J. Armstrong) and the Sacramento Kings to get a better picture of where they are headed and what they’re trying to accomplish.”
The Kings are coming off a 28-54 season and are hardly considered a title contender.
“I wouldn’t say it’s rebuilding, but a building process,” Terry said of the Kings. “DeMarcus Cousins, a huge talent. Attitude, a little shaky. Rudy Gay, not a proven winner in this league but a tremendous talent and a guy you can build around.
“They’re in transition right now. For me, at this point in my career, I want championships.”
Cousins, who worked out with the team last week, was in Los Angeles for ESPN’s Espy Awards.