Rozier: Fluid Role “Not The Easiest” To Embrace

The Celtics have yet to hit their stride so far in 2018/19, and while their depth figures to be a strength over the course of the season, it may also be a source of frustration when things aren’t going well for players who would like more minutes. Asked after Monday’s loss to Orlando about embracing a fluid role, backup point guard Terry Rozier admitted that it’s “not the easiest,” as Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston writes.

“Me being a competitor and me being who I am, I wake up every day and want to be the best I can be, want to win and everything,” said Rozier. “It’s tough when I don’t get the minutes that I may want. [Monday] night, for example, I didn’t play that many minutes.”

Beyond simply being a competitor and wanting to win, Rozier has another important reason to prefer a regular, prominent role this season. After having failed to reach an extension agreement with the Celtics, he’ll be a restricted free agent in 2019, so his play on the court in the coming months will go a long way toward determining what his next contract looks like. Still, he made it clear that he’s not unhappy and he understands the challenge facing head coach Brad Stevens.

“Coach does not have the easiest job. He has the toughest job out of all of us,” Rozier said of Stevens. “And I can respect that. I control what I control. I still come in every day and I bust my butt because I know it may be different on Thursday. I just have to stay ready. And it’s tough because, like I said, I’m competitive. But [Stevens] has a tough job.”

As Forsberg notes, Monday was likely the exception for Rozier and the Celtics rather than the rule. After seeing at least 23 minutes of action in each of the team’s first three games, Rozier played only 15 on Monday — Stevens used 12 different players in an effort to find the best lineup combination for a C’s team that came out flat. Those 15 minutes were the fewest Rozier had played in a game since last November, and that’s unlikely to be repeated anytime soon.

Still, a report prior to this month’s rookie scale extension deadline suggested that Rozier would likely seek the “minutes and money” of a starter on his next contract after averaging 36.6 minutes per contest in the postseason for the Celtics last season. As long as Kyrie Irving remains healthy, Rozier won’t be playing starter’s minutes in Boston this season, and as long as Irving and the C’s remain on track for a long-term deal next summer, it’s not clear if the club will be willing to offer Rozier a lucrative multiyear contract too.

If and when the Celtics start piling up wins, Rozier will certainly find it easier to accept his fluid role, but this is still a situation worth keeping an eye on over the course of the season as his free agency nears.

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12 thoughts on “Rozier: Fluid Role “Not The Easiest” To Embrace

  1. Boston2AZ

    There’s always a chance that they let Kyrie walk, go after a different MAX player, and sign Rozier long term. It’s a long season and who knows what will happen?

    • Luke Adams

      Hayward, Smart, Tatum, Brown, Williams, and Rozier’s cap hold add up to $70.7MM, so they’d almost definitely have to lose Horford too in order to have any chance at another max player.

      • Boston2AZ

        Right, Luke. That Smart contract just kills me. He’s such a limited player. I would prefer Rozier over him.

        • Guest617

          same – hopefully danny’s got something planned that we don’t know about. one bad contract or trade would jeopardize this rebuild.

  2. Luckylefty2

    Is it me or does Kyrie not look the same ?? Ainge is a smart guy and I wouldn’t be surprised if he keeps Rozier instead of Irving.

    • x%sure

      The whole verbal-commit thing is a red flag. He’s been doing a lot of ingratiating.

      I expect he will play “mellow” to save his knees in a contract year.

  3. Dionis

    Kyrie wants to be in NY, Boston likely picks top 5 next summer and drafts Zion Williamson RIP NBA.

  4. oriolesravenstimberwolves04

    Man I would take Morris-Smart-Rozier for Butler in an instant. It would put let them legitimately contend with GS and if they let Horford walk it would financially make sense. Might be giving up too much on Boston’s end.

    • Guest617

      pass. come playoff time you want depth, grit and experience. jimmy duplicates gordon, brown, tatum. c’s need a big/brow

      • Rewane

        In playoffs, depth doesn’t matter that much as stars will play around 40 min each game.

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