Jason Terry was traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Sacramento Kings two days ago, and after being a King for two days, he is now out for the season. Terry has decided to take the remainder of the season off to rehabilitate his surgically-repaired knee. He had the surgery earlier this season, and it is believed to be the cause for Terry having the worst season of his NBA career. It makes sense for Terry to rest; the Kings don’t want to win games now anyway, but don’t be surprised to see Terry moved in the offseason. My bet is he doesn’t play one minute in a Kings uniform.
The trade that sent Terry to Sacramento also included Reggie Evans coming over with him, and the Kings sending Marcus Thornton to the Nets. With Thornton’s scoring output decreasing each of the past three seasons, the Kings saw an opportunity to save some money, and free up time for younger players on the wing.
In a statement, Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro said that giving Terry “time to rehab during the balance of this season allows him to return at full strength next year while giving our younger players the minutes and experience needed to help us improve as a team going forward.” What D’Alessandro is really saying is that the team needs to see Jimmer Ferdette get more minutes in hopes of another team liking what they see, and offer a trade to the Kings in the summer. He is also saying that Ben McLemore was not getting enough minutes at the shooting guard spot, and he is our future on the wing, even if Thornton is better now.
McLemore is only 21 years old, and sitting on the bench for one of the worst teams in the league is doing him no good. I understand not playing rookies until they are ready when you are in a playoff hunt, or wanting to actually give your fans a product to be proud of, but when you are clearly tanking, what better way to get a young player meaningful minutes than trade away the starter ahead of him?
Sacramento has fully embraced tanking this season, while also having some nice pieces going forward — DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas, Rudy Gay and McLemore. Terry was never part of their plans, he was just a throw-in to make the trade work, and get McLemore more minutes; and with Terry is out for the season, the Kings can get some of his salary paid by their insurance company.
This summer, Terry will have his agents push the Kings for a trade, and if anyone wants him, then they can have him. The Kings have no room for him anyway, and over-the-hill gunners don’t exactly play all-out on bad teams. Terry will try to get moved to a perceived contender and never step foot in the Kings home locker room.