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Jason Terry deal still not official, Celtics explore sign-and-trade

Jeff Green, Jason Terry, Brandon Bass and Chris Wilcox at Saturday's press conference.
Jeff Green, Jason Terry, Brandon Bass and Chris Wilcox at Saturday's press conference.
Chris Forsberg/ESPN Boston

Some Celtics fans may be wondering why the signing of Jason Terry has not yet become official. Although he was considered the first major signing of the offseason for the Celtics, besides the re-signing of Kevin Garnett, "The Jet" has not signed on the dotted line despite being introduced at a press conference on Saturday. But the news of only a verbal agreement should not cause panic throughout the streets of Boston. According to the Dallas Morning News, the Celtics and Mavericks are discussing a sign-and-trade for Jason Terry. So why would the Celtics trade for a player that has already agreed to sign with them?

Well the answer makes more sense than you might think. The Celtics president of basketball operations, Danny Ainge, has been exploring ways to obtain shooting guards Courtney Lee of the Rockets and O.J. Mayo of the Grizzlies. By acquiring Terry in a sign-and-trade this would free up cap space, and more importantly their MLE (mid-level exception), that would have been used on Terry originally. The Celtics could then be allowed to go over their cap space and realistically be able to sign Courtney Lee with their MLE.

If a trade were to occur between the two teams the Mavericks would most likely be taking Keyon Dooling or Marquis Daniels and a second round pick in return. According to ESPNBoston, sources have indicated that the only way a sign-and-trade would be plausible is if a third team is willing to take on the salaries they prefer to move out.

Ainge is certainly ambitious in his efforts to solidify the roster by improving the bench and more importantly get a capable starting shooting guard in case Avery Bradley can not fully recover from his second shoulder surgery. Ainge also has not officially signed forward Jeff Green either. It seems as if he is keeping his options open on how he wants to divide the money on Green's four-year, $36 million deal depending entirely on his target free agents over the next week.

Regardless of all the trade talk, it is almost a guarantee that Green and Terry will both be in Celtics uniforms. Green expressed, in the press conference on Saturday, that he feels the need to thank his team because they helped him throughout the process of his heart surgery, and that it was a "no-brainer" to re-sign. Terry also voiced his commitment to the team as well.

""Well, if they need me to wash the uniforms or sweep the floor, whatever role (coach) Doc (Rivers) wants me to play I'm here to do it at 100 percent and give my all," Terry said. "That's what I've done my whole career, and pretty much whatever it takes to win. Whatever puts us in the best position to win these games and win a championship is what I'll be doing."


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