The Bucks have made it official, signing free-agent shooting guard Jason Terry to add a veteran presence in the locker room and three-point shooting off the bench, as well as presumably forcing media around Milwaukee to debate (and hopefully dismiss) the merits of recycling “The Jet has landed” as a headline.
It had been reported Friday that Terry was finalizing a deal with the Bucks, and the team announced the move early Monday evening. Per team policy, terms were not disclosed. Going into the weekend, Milwaukee had 13 players with guaranteed contracts and was already over the salary cap, though the team still had at its disposal the $2.9 million Room Exception. The additions of Terry and Steve Novak – whose signing hasn’t yet been announced but who is listed on the team’s official roster – would put the Bucks at the 15-player maximum.
Entering his 18th NBA season on his sixth team, Terry will be 39 years old when the 2016-17 campaign begins. He played the last two seasons in Houston and averaged 5.9 points and 1.4 assists while shooting 35.6 percent on three-pointers in 72 games in 2015-16 for the Rockets. For his career, the 6-foot-2 Terry is a 37.9 percent three-pointer shooter and he ranks third all-time in NBA history for three-pointers made with 2,169.
It looks like “The Jet” is still working hard, in pretty good shape and serious about playing, too.
While with the Mavericks, Terry was named the league’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2009 and he helped bring a championship to Dallas in 2011, along with Jason Kidd, now the Bucks’ head coach.
“Jason is a true professional who understands what it takes to be successful in this league,” general manager John Hammond said in a statement. “He’ll be an invaluable resource for our young group as we continue to develop into a championship-caliber team on and off the court, and he’s still one of the best shooters in the game who can help stretch the floor for us. We’re thrilled to welcome him to Milwaukee.”
Led by 21-year-old rising stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker, along with 25-year-old Khris Middleton, the Bucks had the youngest roster in the NBA before the additions of Terry and Novak. Hammond and Kidd said during the offseason the team wanted to add veteran experience and outside shooting, which it has sought to do with Terry, Novak, point guard Matthew Dellavedova and forward Mirza Teletovic.
According to Houston reporter Mark Berman, Terry said of joining Milwaukee, “They are a young team on the cusp of doing great things and the Bucks have a great coach in Jason Kidd.”
On Monday evening, Terry posted a picture of the Bucks logo and a message of gratitude on Twitter.
Though the Bucks plan to use Antetokounmpo as the primary ball-handler and offensive playmaker – and, besides Middleton and Dellavedova, still have guards Michael Carter-Williams, Tyler Ennis, Rashad Vaughn and Malcolm Brogdon on the roster – Terry is comfortable off the ball and can play the one or the two. He has averaged 14.3 points and 4.1 assists for his career.
Terry played last year on a one-year, $1.5 million contract with Houston.
Novak, who has spent the summer in Milwaukee rehabbing the sprained left MCL that prematurely ended his 2015-16 season, reportedly will re-sign with the Bucks as soon as he is medically cleared.
Milwaukee’s first preseason game is on Oct. 3 against the Chicago Bulls.