Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats new and old generations combine: Jason Terry joins Nick Johnson at Houston

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Jason Terry was a national player of the year in 1999 but his number at Arizona has yet to be retired (AllSportsTucson.com graphic)

Jason Terry was a national player of the year in 1999 but his number at Arizona has yet to be retired (AllSportsTucson.com graphic)

Arizona’s youngest NBA pups — Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon — will learn their trade at the highest level with some of the longest tenured former Wildcats playing professionally.

Jason Terry, the longest tenured former Arizona player in the NBA at 15 years, will join rookie Johnson with the Houston Rockets. Gordon, another Arizona rookie, is a teammate of nine-year NBA veteran Channing Frye with Orlando. Terry and Johnson are guards. Frye and Gordon are forwards.

Terry was traded by Sacramento to Houston on Sunday for two second-round draft picks and guard/forward Alonzo Gee, along with at least one other non-guaranteed contract.

Terry, who turns 37 on Sept. 15, will practice against Johnson when camp opens next month. When Terry was helping Arizona win the national title in 1997 as the best sixth man in the nation, Johnson was only 4 years old.

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Terry’s 15th year in the NBA this season will top that of former Wildcat guards Steve Kerr (14 years) and Mike Bibby (13).

Terry, out for most of last year with a knee injury after Brooklyn traded him to Sacramento, has 17,445 points and 5,009 assists in his career.

He will be part of his fifth franchise in the last four years — Dallas, Boston, Brooklyn, Sacramento and Houston.

Terry has mentioned that his goal is to play at least 19 years in the NBA before pursuing a coaching job at the college level. He once told me that he wants to coach under Sean Miller at Arizona.

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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