Terry Rozier

Sixers Turned Down Suns’ Trade Offer For McConnell

The Suns, who were on the lookout for a point guard for much of the offseason, approached the Sixers in recent weeks to inquire on T.J. McConnell, league sources tell Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. According to Pompey, Phoenix was willing to part with a second-round pick for McConnell, but the 76ers passed on that offer.

Philadelphia’s decision to turn down a second-round pick for McConnell comes as no surprise. The 26-year-old has developed into a regular part of the Sixers’ rotation, providing backup minutes at point guard and serving as one of the club’s only reliable ball-handlers. With the 76ers still unsure about what they’ll get from Markelle Fultz this season, it would take a strong offer to pry away McConnell, who is earning just $1.6MM.

It’s also worth noting that the Sixers probably don’t need to add any more second-rounders to their overflowing stash of draft picks. In addition to holding all its own selections, Philadelphia has also acquired two extra second-round picks for 2019, two more for 2020, and three for 2021. The team has even added the Pistons’ 2023 second-rounder for good measure.

The Suns have been linked to several point guard trade targets since sending Brandon Knight to the Rockets over the summer. Cory Joseph, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Patrick Beverley are among the veteran point guards the team has reportedly looked into, but Phoenix is said to be reluctant to part with a first-round pick in any deal.

Terry Rozier‘s name is another one that has been frequently connected to the Suns, and John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 tweeted this week that the club would have “loved” to acquire the Celtics point guard. According to Gambadoro, both Ryan McDonough and new interim GM James Jones attempted to make a deal for Rozier, but he’s “very unlikely” to be traded.

Extension Roundup: Rozier, Portis, Jones, Russell

 Celtics point guard Terry Rozier turned down a rookie scale extension offer prior to Monday’s deadline and will become a restricted free agent next summer, A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston reports. Boston offered Rozier approximately $12MM annually, according to Blakely, but chose to take his chances in free agency. Talks were cordial and the two parties will revisit each other when Rozier hits the market, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.
“I’m in a great situation,” Rozier told Blakely. “My team (representatives) felt it wasn’t good for me to sign an extension right now. It opens my options a little bit, but I’m focused on what’s happening right now.”
Rozier is expected to have multiple suitors even as a restricted free agent, since Kyrie Irving recently announced that he plans to re-sign with the Celtics next summer, Blakely notes. Rozier broke out last season, particularly after Irving went down with a knee injury. He was especially potent in the playoffs, averaging 16.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG and 5.7 APG.
We have more extension decisions:
  • The Timberwolves and point guard Tyus Jones did not reach a rookie scale extension agreement. Jones will be a restricted free agent, and that’s been the expectation all along, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic tweets. Minnesota would have to make a $3,573,205 qualifying offer before free agency next summer, otherwise Jones would be unrestricted. Jones saw action in all 82 regular-season games last season, including 11 starts, and averaged 5.1 PPG and 2.8 APG in 17.9 MPG.
  • The Bulls and forward Bobby Portis couldn’t come to an extension agreement before Monday’s deadline, Wojnarowski tweets. Agent Mark Bartelstein and Chicago GM Gar Forman had lengthy negotiations as the deadline approached, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune tweets, but couldn’t close the financial gap. “We had very positive talks,” Bartelstein told Johnson. “These are hard extensions to get done.” (Twitter link). Portis will be a restricted free agent if Chicago gives him a $3,611,813 qualifying offer. He averaged 13.2 PPG and 6.8 RPG in 73 regular season games after returning from his eight-game team suspension following his well-publicized dust-up with former teammate Nikola Mirotic.
  • Nets guard D’Angelo Russell and forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson did not receive extensions, Michael Scotto of The Athetic tweets. Neither player was aware of Monday’s deadline, according to Scotto, suggesting that the Nets never made a serious pitch to lock them up before free agency. The Nets would have extend a $9,160,706 qualifying offer to Russell to make him a restricted free agent. Hollis-Jefferson’s qualifying offer would be $3,594,369.

No Extension Expected For Celtics, Terry Rozier

The Celtics can keep backup point guard Terry Rozier off the 2019 restricted free agent market by locking him up to a contract extension before Monday’s deadline, but that’s not expected to happen. Multiple sources tell Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe that the two sides won’t agree to an extension in the coming days.

“There’s not going to be any extension,” one source said to Himmelsbach. “It wouldn’t make any sense for Terry to do that.”

One source tells Himmelsbach that Rozier is determined to become a starting point guard in the NBA and figures to seek the “minutes and money” of a starter in 2019. Himmelsbach suggests Rozier’s asking price could be in the neighborhood of $20MM per year.

[RELATED: Community Shootaround: Terry Rozier’s Future]

That could be problematic for the Celtics. They recently received a verbal commitment from Kyrie Irving, who said he’ll re-sign with the team when he reaches free agency next summer. Boston already committed approximately $13MM annually to Marcus Smart on a four-year deal earlier this year, so huge new contracts for both Irving and Rozier are probably unpalatable.

Assuming the Celtics and Rozier don’t unexpectedly reach a compromise at the 11th hour, the 24-year-old will enter the season as one of the leaders of the second unit, with the team knowing it can count on him to step into a larger role if Irving and/or Smart battle injuries again. The former Louisville standout averaged an impressive 16.5 PPG, 5.7 APG, and 5.3 RPG in 19 postseason contests (all starts) in the spring.

Next summer, the C’s will have the right of first refusal on Rozier as a restricted free agent, so they could try to re-sign him outright and would have the option to match any offer sheet he signs with another team. While a $20MM-per-year offer seems awfully ambitious, the NBA’s salary cap is projected to increase by another $8MM for 2019/20, and there should be no shortage of teams with significant cap space, so Rozier should have several suitors.

Celtics Notes: Rozier, Smart, Rotation, Irving

Despite Kyrie Irving‘s verbal commitment to re-signing with the team next summer, the Celtics have explored a potential contract extension for Terry Rozier, a source tells Brian Robb of BostonSportsJournal.com. The two sides have until next Monday to complete a deal. If they don’t, Rozier will remain on track to reach restricted free agency in 2019.

While Robb describes the Celtics as having been engaged and “active” in extension negotiations, it’s hard to imagine the two sides reaching an agreement in the coming days. With Irving expected to stick around long-term and Marcus Smart already locked up to a long-term deal, the Celtics would be committing a ton of money to point guards if they were to extend Rozier as well. Additionally, it’s not clear whether Rozier would be comfortable accepting a bench role for the next several years of his career by re-upping with the C’s.

“That’s something I’m really going to have to sit down and think about,” Rozier told Robb on Tuesday.

Here’s more out of Boston:

  • The NBA hit Marcus Smart with a $25K fine earlier this week for his role in an on-court altercation with J.R. Smith, the league announced in a press release. The incident, which resulted in Smart’s ejection, occurred during Saturday’s game against the Cavaliers. Smith was fined $15K.
  • The Celtics continue to work on figuring out their rotation for the regular season, as head coach Brad Stevens acknowledged after that Saturday loss to the Cavs. Taylor C. Snow of Celtics.com has the story.
  • Asked about the Celtics’ struggles during the preseason, Kyrie Irving said that he and his teammates “have to be a lot smarter,” as Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston details. “We have to be a lot more diligent in what we’re doing out there, a lot more communicative,” Irving said. “And it’s going to take some time for us to figure that out because we don’t have 1-2-3-4-5 set in stone. Like 2, 3, and 4 is like up in the air for us so you can see that our wings are having somewhat of a struggle just figuring out, ‘OK, who is the 4, who is the 3 here?'”
  • In a separate piece on Irving, Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe passes along some of the point guard’s observations on his time in Cleveland and what he learned from playing with LeBron James.

Community Shootaround: Terry Rozier’s Future

On Thursday night, Kyrie Irving announced to fans at a Celtics event that he plans to re-sign with the club next July when he can become a free agent. Irving’s verbal commitment to the Celtics doesn’t necessarily guarantee anything, since a lot can change between now and July 1. But it was a rare declaration for a star free-agent-to-be — even if a player ultimately intends to re-sign with his current team, he’ll usually hedge his bets this far out, talking about how he wants to “focus on the season” or how he knows the NBA is “a business.”

Irving stating in no uncertain terms that he intends to remain a Celtic going forward is great news for the franchise, but it also casts some uncertainty on Terry Rozier‘s future with the team. If Irving receives a maximum-salary contract from Boston next summer, the club would be committing an estimated $45MM to Irving and Marcus Smart in 2019/20, with that number projected to increase to $52MM+ by 2021/22.

That’s already a lot of money to invest in a pair of point guards, and adding a lucrative new deal for Rozier on top of that would probably be financially irresponsible. After all, based on what he showed down the stretch last season, Rozier should have a great chance to match – if not exceed – Smart’s four-year, $52MM contract as a restricted free agent in 2019. By re-signing him, Boston would be looking at using well over half of its cap room on point guards.

We don’t know for sure that Irving will get the full max from the Celtics. And it’s possible that the team could consider moving Smart to create additional cap flexibility. It’s even conceivable that the C’s could bite the bullet and re-sign Rozier without cutting costs elsewhere, since no cap rules prevent them from doing so — it would simply result in a big tax bill.

Still, it seems like something’s got to give.

Trading Rozier in advance of the 2019 deadline might allow the team to maximize his value, but that seems unlikely as long as the Celtics are vying for a title. Waiting until free agency in 2019 and hoping to negotiate a trade at that point is another option, but it’s a risky one, since there would be nothing stopping Rozier from signing an offer sheet outright with a rival suitor. Matching an offer sheet for Rozier with the intent to cut costs later would also be dangerous, since potential trade partners could drive a harder bargain knowing that the C’s are anxious to reduce their tax bill.

What do you think? What path will the Celtics take with Rozier, with Irving now on track to re-sign? What should the team do with him?

Jump into the comment section below to share your thoughts!

Atlantic Notes: Rozier, Celtics, Powell, Redick

With Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart battling injuries down the stretch last season, Terry Rozier stepped into a starting role and showed why the Celtics used their first-round pick on him in 2015. Although Rozier will return to a bench role to start the 2018/19 season, Marcus Morris tells A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston that the 24-year-old is still “a starting point guard in this league.” Meanwhile, head coach Brad Stevens acknowledges that he’ll need to try to find Rozier as many minutes as possible (link via Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston).

As Stevens and the Celtics explore how best to use Rozier on the court, the franchise will also face a looming decision on him off the court, notes Shane Rhodes of Basketball Insiders. If he doesn’t sign a new extension by October 15, Rozier will be on track for restricted free agency in 2019, and he’s not a slam dunk to be re-signed, since Boston has already committed big money to Smart and will need to re-sign Irving too. Rhodes outlines the options the C’s will have with their young point guard, which include letting him walk, matching an offer sheet, or trading him.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • The Celtics have been a popular pick to win the Eastern Conference and challenge for an NBA title in 2018/19, but – based on his team’s preseason performances – Brad Stevens wants to pump the brakes on that hype. As Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston relays, Stevens said he “couldn’t be more unimpressed” with the C’s at the moment. “We’re not as good as advertised right now,” Stevens said after a Tuesday loss to Cleveland. “So at least we know that.”
  • Norman Powell has the sixth-highest cap hit on the Raptors‘ roster for the 2018/19 season, but he’ll be hard-pressed to crack the team’s rotation, writes Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. In Smith’s view, Powell will have to recapture his 2016/17 form or “capitalize on the misfortune of others” in order to regain a significant role. Otherwise, he’ll likely remain a trade candidate.
  • Sarah Todd of The Philadelphia Inquirer examines the importance of veteran guard J.J. Redick on a young Sixers team. Redick inked another one-year deal with Philadelphia as a free agent this summer.

Atlantic Notes: Rozier, Knicks, Sixers, Kurucs

Terry Rozier is entering a contract year and is one of several productive point guards on a Celtics roster that also features Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart, and EuroLeague star Brad Wanamaker. As such, it makes sense that his name would pop up in trade rumors, as it did last week when a report indicated he may be on the Suns’ wish list. For his part though, Rozier is unfazed by those rumors, as A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston details.

“It’s only going to get crazier every year, I feel,” Rozier said. “You just have to try and control what you can control. Try to focus on getting better every summer. Getting wiser, thinking about the game. I’m ready to get it going, ready to start the season.”

Even if he remains in Boston through the 2018/19 season, the summer of 2019 will be a big one for Rozier. With Smart locked up to a lucrative new long-term contract, and Irving a candidate for a new maximum-salary deal, the Celtics may not be able to retain Rozier if he draws serious interest from other teams in restricted free agency. Again though, the fourth-year guard isn’t focused on his long-term future for now.

“I mean, I’ll see how it goes for myself,” Rozier said, per Blakely. “I’m not really going crazy. I got a season to worry about. I’m not worried about what’s next for me individually; I’m just worrying about how special this team can be.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • During an appearance on SiriusXM Radio, Enes Kanter said he’s “love to see” Kevin Durant on his team again, adding that he’ll “try to recruit” his former Thunder teammate to the Knicks in 2019 (link via Marc Berman of The New York Post). Of course, Kanter’s recruitment of LeBron James this offseason wasn’t particularly effective, and there’s no guarantee the center will even be a Knick a year from now — Kanter hopes to remain in New York for the long term, but will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.
  • Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are the only long-term certainties for the Sixers, so the team’s new general manager should be a creative thinker who isn’t afraid to shake up the rest of the roster if it moves the team closer to title contention, writes David Murphy of Philly.com. The 76ers are considering both external and internal candidates as they seek a new head of basketball operations.
  • Nets second-round pick Rodions Kurucs said during an interview with LTV Sport Studio in Latvia that he expects to spend some time with the Long Island Nets in the G League during his rookie season, as relayed by NetsDaily. Kurucs, the 40th overall pick in the draft, signed a four-year deal with Brooklyn, so the club figures to be patient with his development.

Western Rumors: Rozier, Williams, Durant, Rockets

The Celtics’ Terry Rozier and the Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie are two of the logical trade targets for the Suns in their search for a point guard, according to Frank Urbina of HoopsHype. Rozier is a solid two-way player coming off a career year but the Suns would likely have to offer a package that included an unprotected first-rounder to catch Boston’s attention. A trade for Dinwiddie would be more plausible and he’d be a good fit with Phoenix considering his size, perimeter shooting and pick-and-roll prowess, Urbina continues. The Clippers’ Patrick Beverley, the Cavaliers’ George Hill and the Hornets’ Kemba Walker are some of the other names Urbina throws out as potential targets. The Suns are searching for a starting point guard after trading away Brandon Knight to the Rockets last week.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The Pelicans signed Troy Williams, Kenrich Williams and Garlon Green to partially-guaranteed contracts in the hope of finding one reliable small forward, Scott Kushner of the New Orleans Advocate notes. That trio will compete for a roster spot, though the potential addition of swingman Tyrone Wallacesigned to an offer sheet on Monday — could change that. “They just told me they’re bringing some guys in and having them go head-on to see who wins a spot,” Kenrich Williams told Kushner.
  • By buying out Luol Deng‘s contract and using the stretch provision, the Lakers gave themselves a chance to offer Kevin Durant a max salary in free agency, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders examines. The Lakers now project to have $38.2MM in cap space, which would be just enough to afford Durant, Pincus continues. If they can’t land Durant, they’ll certainly have enough to bring in another All-Star level talent. Other high-level potential free agents, including Kawhi Leonard, Klay ThompsonDeMarcus Cousins, Jimmy Butler, Walker and Kyrie Irving, could command a first-year salary of $33MM, leaving the Lakers with another $5MM to spend in other ways, Pincus adds.
  • The Rockets took a frugal approach this summer and it could cost them a title, Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post opines. They traded away Ryan Anderson and allowed two key wing players to walk in free agency. In turn, they signed three players on veteran’s minimum deals and adding a couple of bench players in the Anderson trade, Bontemps notes. So while Houston execs had said they were unconcerned about the luxury tax, their actions showed they wanted to save some money, Bontemps adds.

Suns Have Tried To Trade For Point Guard

With Brandon Knight headed to Houston in a four-player trade, the Suns‘ point guard depth chart looks thinner than ever. According to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link), Phoenix has made an effort to address the position by attempting to trade for a starting point guard, but hasn’t had any luck so far.

Gambadoro names Damian Lillard, Kemba Walker, and Terry Rozier as a few of the point guards the Suns have been targeting, though he doesn’t provide much more details beyond that. Even if the Suns made inquiries on those players, I can’t imagine their conversation with the Trail Blazers for Lillard, for instance, went very far.

The Hornets and Celtics may have been a little more receptive to discussions involving their point guards, who are entering contract years, but it would certainly still take a substantial offer to pry Walker away from Charlotte or to get Rozier out of Boston.

While Gambadoro suggests that the Suns “will have to make a trade,” he notes that the Bucks’ first-round pick owed to Phoenix isn’t particularly valuable as a trade chip, given its protections. The Suns could put some combination of their own first-rounders or young prospects on the table in a trade offer, but it’s not clear how aggressive the team is willing to be in the short term — it’s possible the club will see what it can get out of its current point guards to start the season, perhaps revisiting the trade market closer to the deadline.

With Knight no longer in the mix, the Suns’ point guard group includes Shaquille Harrison and Isaiah Canaan, who are both on non-guaranteed contracts, and rookies De’Anthony Melton and Elie Okobo. Canaan has the most NBA experience of the bunch, but he’s coming off a major leg injury. Melton and Okobo, of course, have yet to make their respective NBA debuts, while Harrison has appeared in just 23 regular season contests.

Atlantic Notes: Rozier, J. Brown, Nets, Sixers GM

“Scary Terry” isn’t afraid of returning to a bench role now that Celtics teammate Kyrie Irving is healthy again, writes Chris Forsberg of ESPN. Terry Rozier became a postseason star in Boston with Irving sidelined after knee surgery, starting all 19 games and posting a 16.5/5.3/5.7 line as the Celtics reached Game 7 of the conference finals. Irving’s recovery will make Rozier a reserve again, but he won’t let that affect his outlook for the season.

“I’m not worried about [his role],” Rozier said today at his youth basketball camp. “Kinda control what I can control. We all got one goal, and that’s to win. We all get love when we win. That should be everybody’s mindset. It’s going to be a lot of fun. If you want to win a championship, that’s what it’s going to take — sacrifice. … We’re all going to have one goal, and it’s going to lead us to the promised land.”

Rozier’s attitude should help the Celtics, but it may not keep him in Boston beyond this season. He will be a restricted free agent next summer, and the organization may not want to make a large financial commitment to another guard with Irving also headed for free agency and Marcus Smart re-signing last month for $52MM over four years.

There’s more today from the Atlantic Division:

  • Jayson Tatum, who is coming off a stellar rookie season, expressed similar sentiments in an interview with Nicole Yang of Boston.com. Tatum was also outstanding for the Celtics in the playoffs, averaging 18.5 points per game, but he’s expected to lose his starting role whenever Gordon Hayward is healthy enough to take over. “I understand how deep our team is,” Tatum said. “I just care about winning and doing what I can while I’m on the floor.”
  • The Nets will probably focus on big men with their two open slots for training camp, according to an article on NetsDaily. Both players will likely wind up in the G League, and Brooklyn’s affiliate in Long Island is short on centers with an injury to Kamari Murphy, a starter last season, and the uncertain status of Prince Ibeh. The story mentions Luke Petrasek and Byron Mullens, who both attended the Nets’ free agent mini-camp this summer, as possibilities.
  • The Sixers are looking for a GM who won’t demand the final say on personnel moves, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Appearing on a podcast with Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports, Pompey said the organization wants to keep the group dynamic in the front office that it’s had since getting rid of Bryan Colangelo in June.