Jason Terry had to make a very tough decision in free agency this past summer. Would he attempt to stay with the Dallas Mavericks, where he had won his first NBA title just a year prior, or would he take better money to try to go to another contender as the Mavericks stayed in a transitional period with their roster? With the Mavericks not showing any interest in re-signing him, he fled for the Boston Celtics on a three-year, mid-level exception deal.
It's sort of the same decision that wide receiver Wes Welker just had to make with the New England Patriots within the past week. Try to stay with the Patriots and stick around his own Dirk Nowitzki (Tom Brady; it's a loose comparison, so don't get all huffy) or head for greener pastures and find a new home with a new team and a new superstar to be around.
Welker decided to head to the Denver Broncos to team up with Peyton Manning once the Pats decided not to match the two-year, $12 million deal, and Terry said he can relate to that situation and career move. Via CSNNE.com:
"Oh, for sure, for sure. Dallas, there's no way in anybody's mind they didn't think I would sign back with Dallas," Terry said after the Celtics' 112-88 win over the Raptors Wednesday night. "I think they're still in shock over there, but it happens. It's the nature of the business, and some things you can't avoid. I know Welker probably deep down in his mind wanted to stay. He wanted to be a Patriot and still in his heart is a Patriot. But for other reasons business-wise he's not, but wish him the best."
I'm not sure that people in Dallas are shocked about Terry's departure, per se. After letting Tyson Chandler go to the New York Knicks the summer after winning the 2011 title, it seemed pretty obvious the Mavs were extremely aware of how the new collective bargaining agreement was going to affect their future. They decided to begin a transition from being title winners to finding a new core.
While Terry was important to what the Mavs did, I'm not sure he was on a Welker level of affecting the outcome of Patriots games. Perhaps the better comparison to the situation in terms of talent loss and shock would be Ray Allen leaving the Celtics to go play for the Miami Heat, though the Celtics definitely showed interest in keeping Allen in a green uniform.
"But [Tom] Brady is definitely going to be disappointed he's losing him, but again, the Patriots will still be good," Terry said. "That's [Bill] Belichick's system. He has a great system, whoever is thrust into the role of Welker is going to play phenomenally.
That player looks to be Danny Amendola, who the Patriots signed to a five-year, $31 million deal shortly after the Welker news broke, and before the Celtics game got underway
"Did they get him?" Terry asked? "Second-best pickup. Can't have Welker, settle for second-best. He's a young version of Welker. So, I'm excited."
I'm guessing Terry didn't feel that same way about O.J. Mayo replacing him in Dallas this offseason.