Terry Rozier‘s name has popped up in several headlines this week, starting on Wednesday when a pair of separate reports suggested that the Celtics‘ backup point guard was unhappy with his playing time and that he was being monitored by at least seven teams from around the NBA.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge dismissed those reports on Thursday, as did Rozier. However, while Ainge and Rozier denied that the 24-year-old has complained about his playing time, they also both acknowledged that he’d like more minutes.
Rozier’s desire for a larger role is not unique among NBA players, according to Ainge, who suggested that it’s probably a desire shared by many players on the Celtics, not to mention across the league: “I know for sure that Terry would love to be playing more more minutes but there’s a lot of guys on the team that would love to be playing more minutes.”
Still, while it may be normal for a player to want more playing time than he’s getting, there are reasons to believe it could become an issue in this case. Rozier is eligible for restricted free agency in 2019, and the Celtics appear committed to paying lucrative salaries to Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart for the next several years. The opportunity for more playing time may never materialize for Rozier in Boston, and it might not make sense for the C’s to invest even more heavily into the point guard position if they lock up Irving to a new long-term deal.
The Celtics have denied that they’re looking to move Rozier, and multiple reports have indicated that an in-season deal is highly unlikely. After all, the team still intends to contend for a championship in 2018/19, and it may be hard to find a trade package that would make the C’s a better team right away. Plus, Boston will control Rozier’s free agency process in 2019, since he won’t be unrestricted, and re-signing him would be in the team’s best interests if things drastically change on the Irving front within the next seven or eight months.
On the other hand, if the Celtics don’t plan on matching a lucrative offer sheet for Rozier next summer, it might make sense to get what they can for him at the deadline. They don’t want to lose a talented young player for nothing, and it’s possible they could land a player who doesn’t make the team worse in the short term while providing a better fit in the long term. Alternately, moving Rozier for a first-round pick could give the C’s the flexibility to trade one of their other future picks in a separate deal to acquire a rotation player who could provide immediate help.
What do you think? Will Rozier play out the season with the Celtics? Will he remain in Boston a year from now? What do you think the future holds for the former first-round pick? Vote below, then head to the comment section to share your two cents.
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