Free agent Terrence Jones’s camp initiated preliminary discussions with the Celtics recently, but it is unlikely that the veteran forward will reach an agreement with Boston, league sources said.
Jones, who is averaging 11.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game this season, negotiated a buyout with the New Orleans Pelicans after the team acquired DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings at the trade deadline. Jones immediately became one of the more attractive options in the buyout market, but a source said that Jones is focused on going somewhere he would have a chance to play extensively.
While the Celtics have a glaring need for a rebounder, they also have a deep team that is sitting comfortably in second place in the Eastern Conference, so an opportunity would hardly be guaranteed. Boston’s roster also sits at 15 players, so the team would have to waive a player to acquire someone like Jones.
President of basketball operations Danny Ainge has publicly stated his reluctance to dive into the buyout market. While declining to comment on Jones specifically, Ainge reiterated in a phone interview Monday that the team would be comfortable moving forward as currently constructed.
“I like our team right now,” he said, “and unless something really jumps out to us where I feel like we can get significantly better, I’d just assume keep our team intact.”
Many veteran players negotiate buyouts because they want an opportunity to chase a title at the tail end of their careers. Former Mavericks guard Deron Williams, who turns 33 in June, for example, is expected to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers soon. But Jones just turned 25 last month, so he is playing for his next contract.
Jones’s camp has had discussions with several teams, but no deal appears imminent, a source said. Since Jones was waived prior to March 1, he would be eligible to join a playoff roster on whatever team he joins.