The deal that reportedly is in place is Jason Terry and two future second round picks to the Rockets in return for Alonzo Gee and one or two expiring contracts. Looking at the roster, that likely means Scotty Hopson or Josh Powell, or maybe both of them.
While this does help improve the bench, it’s a marginal improvement when you consider multiple factors. For one, Terry will turn 37 later this month and is coming off of an absolutely atrocious season. Terry had his worst season by far last year and it’s unlikely he’ll bounce back, considering his age. Terry is no longer the reliable player he used to be; he only played 35 games last season before he was traded to the Sacramento Kings and didn’t play a single game with them, choosing to rehab his surgically repaired knee instead. It’s hard to see him coming back strong due to his age, and it’s also hard to see him staying healthy next year.
The good news for Houston is that Jason Terry is not expensive; he has an expiring $5.08 million contract, so should Terry be an absolute bust, he won’t drag the team’s cap space down past this year. He will likely see time backing up both guard positions and will probably have to anchor the bench, as Houston continues to look for options to replace Jeremy Lin‘s offensive production off the bench from last season.
I don’t think that Jason Terry will help at all, however. Assuming he even stays healthy and plays the majority of the season, his production will likely be lackluster thanks to decline. Here was his production from last season, and it doesn’t look good:
And here are Jason Terry’s advanced numbers. They don’t look any better:
Jason Terry could barely produce any offense for the Nets, despite most of the defensive attention being away from him. His Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 7.4 is absolutely atrocious, as is his assist percentage (AST%) to turnover percentage (TOV%) of 15.3 percent to 14.5 percent. He also produced a terrible 98 Offensive Rating and was worth exactly zero Offensive Win Shares, which is troubling considering that Terry has been predominately known as an offensive spark plug off of the bench. “Black hole” is the perfect description of Terry’s offense from last season. When you combine his declining offense with his already mediocre defense, you get a player who is not worthy of the minutes he will be getting next season.
It’s not all terrible for Jason Terry and the Rockets; there’s always the slim chance that Terry could revert to form and actually be a productive player for Houston. If that were the happen, suddenly the bench has a player who can produce his own offense and distribute the ball to those who can’t. Plus, Terry was acquired for basically nothing while having an expiring contract. The worst-case scenario for Terry is that he’s just another warm body that can bring the ball up the court and shoot the deep ball off of the bench. If given the choice between Ramon Sessions and Jason Terry, however, I think I’d take Sessions 10 times out of 10 at this point.
In his prime, Jason Terry would have been an absolutely stellar addition to the Rockets bench. Even just two years ago, Terry would have been a worthwhile addition to the team. But as it is, Jason Terry is simply a stop gap and a project. General manager Daryl Morey is taking a Hail Mary in the hopes that Terry reverts to form and helps the Rockets to another successful season. If more pieces aren’t added to the bench, Morey is in for a rude awakening.