Jason Terry was all set to be a Sacramento King this season.
“I had already found a spot in Sac and everything,” Terry said. “The stuff was on a truck ready to move out (when) I got a phone call from Houston.”
Houston was able to complete a deal before training camp that brought the veteran guard to the Rockets, which satisfied Terry’s desire to play for a title contender.
Terry was acquired by the Kings along with Reggie Evans from Brooklyn for Marcus Thornton in February. Terry never played for the Kings after the team allowed him to return to his home in Dallas and rehab a lingering knee injury.
Terry said he had a “tremendous” relationship with Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro that allowed the deal to be made.
The Kings were able to create more room under the salary cap by dealing Terry and two second-round draft pics for the non-guaranteed contracts of Alonzo Gee and Scotty Hopson and a trade exception.
Gee and Hopson were waived by the Kings.
“It was almost as if I was with that organization for 10, 12 years,” Terry said. “It was that great of communication going on, and from both party standpoints, it was let’s make this thing work. I’m forever grateful for them being that open with me because they didn’t have to because it is a business. And nine times out of 10 in this business you really do what the team tells you to do.”
In Terry’s case, that would have been to report to Sacramento for the season. The Kings had no intention of buying out Terry and paying him to play elsewhere.
At the same time, the Kings didn’t want to bring in a player who wanted to play elsewhere in his 16th NBA season.
“It was close, but at the same time I was ready to put that uniform on and go to work hard for that organization,” Terry said. “But it just didn’t work out that way.”
Terry said he couldn’t be happier about that for more than one reason.
“My wife is pregnant, so we’re expecting next month,” Terry said. “It’s been good for me on and off the court.”
Terry is also healthy and entered Wednesday’s game against the Kings at Toyota Center shooting 42.9 percent from three-point range this season and averaging 7.4 points in 21.9 minutes off the bench after struggling with Brooklyn before the trade.
The former NBA Sixth Man of the Year credits the Kings with his improved health.
“I’m feeling good, I’m 100 percent healthy,” Terry said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do that either without permission from Sacramento to go home and rehab with Dallas, a team that took care of me and looked after. I’m also grateful and thankful they gave me that opportunity.”