But one very persuading call from Celtics coach Doc Rivers — and a lackluster response from Dallas — apparently changed the situation.
"Boston was the first to call me, and Doc Rivers got on the phone and said, 'We need you. You're the No. 1 priority," Terry told RF Sports Report, according to ESPN. "Had I got that same phone call from Dallas, I'd still be a Dallas Maverick."
What makes the Celtics' pursuit of Terry so interesting is that other teams were making similar advances to get the elite shooter Boston already had — Ray Allen — but the Celtics may not have been among them. Allen chose to sign with the Heat among reports that the C's didn't pursue him hard enough, while Miami had him pegged from the get-go.
Terry is a 3-point threat in his own right, sitting fourth all-time on the NBA's made 3-pointers list. A career 44.8 percent shooter, he's averaged 16.1 points and 4.7 rebounds a season.
Terry said he was surprised Dallas didn't come after him harder, considering his history with the team — he won a championship with the Mavs in 2011 — and in the community.
"Dallas didn't come to the table," he said. "… I thought they would bring me back, and they didn't. So, it's life."
Terry said he'll "always have a home in Dallas" and hopes to "end my career there," but he doesn't see his time in the NBA winding down too soon. He's already talking about winning another championship. In that regard, he seems very pleased the C's were the ones willing to snatch him away.