Is Terry's time running out in Dallas?

The buyout in Jerry Stackhouse’s contract was the Mavs’ biggest trade chip last summer. Erick Dampier’s nonguaranteed $13 million salary is their biggest trade chip this summer.

Jason Terry’s creatively worded contract could give the Mavs a chip next summer that interests cost-cutting teams – if his minutes are severely slashed.

If Terry plays fewer than 1,500 minutes next season, he can be bought out for $5 million before July 15. That’s a significant savings from his 2011-12 salary of $11.16 million.

If that happens and Mark Cuban is willing to sweeten the pot with cash considerations, the Mavs might be able to move a guy entering the twilight of his career for an impact player in his prime.

A year ago, it looked like Terry hitting that minutes incentive was a layup. It’s only 18.3 minutes per game if he plays all 82, and Terry has averaged over 30 in each of his five seasons as a Mav. Plus, he’s a durable dude who has come back early from injuries the last two seasons.

Of course, a year ago, few folks in Dallas outside the Mavs’ front office could have told you anything about Rodrigue Beaubois. Now there’s big buzz about Roddy B, who is primed for a significant part in the Mavs’ rotation after a promising rookie season.

Who do you think will sacrifice playing time to get Beaubois more burn?

The hope is that Beaubois will develop enough as a point guard this summer to play 12-14 minutes per game behind Jason Kidd. To fully tap into his talent, one would think he’d get at least that many minutes at shooting guard alongside Kidd.

As the roster is currently constructed, Caron Butler is the starting shooting guard. If Butler gets traded, it’s probable that the return package will be a premier wing player.

How many minutes are left over for Terry? It might be in the Mavs’ best interests if the answer is 18 or fewer.