DALLAS – Jason Terry is welcome to return to the Mavericks.
It’s just a matter of negotiating a deal that’s agreeable to both parties. And that’s a heck of a lot harder than it sounds, considering that the Mavs hope to make major roster upgrades with their salary-cap space and the 34-year-old Terry would surely like at least one more lucrative contract.
“We’d love to have Jet back,” president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said Sunday. “You talk about a guy that’s given his heart and soul to this franchise, and made big plays and big shots. You would love to have him back. It’s just, at what cost?”
Terry was excused from Sunday’s exit interviews so he could coach the Lady Jets, his daughter’s AAU team. However, he acknowledged after Saturday’s sweep finale that he might have played his last game in a Mavericks uniform, calling it a “hard pill to swallow.”
Terry has made it clear over the years that he has hoped to retire as a Maverick. He spent the last eight seasons in Dallas, making him the longest tenured teammate of Dirk Nowitzki's career.
In a classic Jet moment during the celebration at the end of last year's championship parade, days after Terry was the star of the title-clinching Game 6, he pointed to the spot in the American Airlines Center rafters where he thinks his No. 31 should hang one day. It’s tough for Nowitzki to envision Terry wearing that number for another team next season.
“He’s my man,” Nowitzki said. “Hopefully it’s going to work out, it’s going to work out for him the way he wants it to. Maybe he’s going to be back here. I think it’s definitely going to be weird seeing him in a different jersey, so hopefully we figure it out and he’ll be here.”