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Terry leaning toward signing with Celtics

Jason Terry says there's a 'strong possibility' he will sign with the Celtics Tuesday night.

Jason Terry was willing to look forward at Boston, his likely new team. But he's not ready yet to look back on his years in Dallas.

 

The free-agent guard said in a phone interview with FOX Sports Florida on Tuesday afternoon there's a "strong possibility'' he will agree by Tuesday night to sign a three-year, $15.675 million deal with Boston. However, he said he wants to give the Mavericks, whom he played for from 2004 until this past season, one final chance to make an offer to keep him.

 

"I want to see what they come up with, but I'm not optimistic,'' said Terry, who said he didn't want to talk about leaving the Mavericks, the team he helped to an NBA title in 2011, until it might be final.

 

Terry, who can't sign until July 11, would get the full mid-level exception from Boston, making his yearly salaries $5 million, $5.225 million and $5.45 million. Terry, who made $11.16 million last season, spoke as if there's no doubt he will end up with the Celtics.

 

"I just love that they have a championship pedigree,'' Terry, who plays both guard spots coming off the bench, said of why he chose the Celtics. "And I think their point guard (Rajon Rondo) is the best in the business at controlling both ends of the floor. And they've got Hall of Famers.''

 

Two on the Celtics definitely bound for the Hall are forward Paul Pierce and center Kevin Garnett, who will re-sign with the team. Terry, 34, would like to see another future Hall of Famer, guard Ray Allen, stick around.

 

"That wouldn't hurt,'' Terry said about wanting Allen, 36, to re-sign.

 

The Celtics are trying to bring back Allen, and have offered a two-year, $12 million contract. Allen is also being courted by Miami, where he'll take a free agent visit Thursday. The Heat have offered Allen a three-year, $9.53 million contract.

 

Terry had said before the free agency period began Sunday he was interested in signing with Miami. But he said he never heard anything from the Heat, who turned their attention immediately to Allen when free agency began.

 

Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson