Terry Rozier

Celtics Notes: Tatum, Horford, Rozier, Draft

The Celtics might have been willing to include Jayson Tatum in a trade for Anthony Davis, but they never would have matched the offer that the Lakers made for the Pelicans’ star, according to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. Acquiring Davis was less risky for L.A. because of the likelihood he will re-sign there when he opts out of his current contract.

Boston was among the teams trying to work out a deal for Davis, but the offers never matched what was speculated when it seemed there was a chance to pair him with Kyrie Irving, Bulpett adds. With Irving believed to be headed for Brooklyn, the Celtics were wary about mortgaging their future when Davis had the option to leave after one season.

There’s more this morning from Boston:

  • The Celtics are trying to work out a longer-term deal with Al Horford, who must decide by tomorrow whether to opt into a $30.1MM salary for next season, Bulpett reports in the same story. The team is offering to add two years to Horford’s current deal if he agrees to accept a lower salary for 2019/20. Horford, who turned 33 this month, is one of the few veteran leaders on what’s shaping up to be a very young team next year. He is coming off another productive season, posting a 13.6/6.7/4.2 line in 68 games.
  • Restricted free agent Terry Rozier won’t have nearly the value on the open market that he would have last year, notes Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. A rival executive told Mannix that Rozier could have commanded $18-$20MM annually if he had reached free agency after leading the Celtics to the Eastern Conference finals in 2018. Interest has fallen after Rozier experienced an uneven season while trying to adjust to a backup role again. The Celtics will have added incentive to keep him with Irving expected to leave. “I’m a big fan of Terry’s,” president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said recently. “I think that if Terry was in the right circumstance and the right role, I think he would love playing in Boston, in my opinion. And if not, then I think Terry would let me know that. But Terry and I have a very good relationship, as Terry does with (coach) Brad (Stevens) as well.”
  • The failure to land Davis makes it more likely that the Celtics will hold onto all three of their first-round selections, states Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston (Twitter link). Boston has picks at No. 14, 20 and 22.

Is Pursuing A RFA Worth The Risk For Sixers?

The Sixers have said that their primary plan this summer is to re-sign both Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris. But, it’s been reported that both players are open to looking at other options (the Clippers, Knicks, Lakers, and Nets come to mind).

If Butler or Harris end up signing elsewhere, Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon, Nets guard D’Angelo Russell, or Celtics guard Terry Rozier could be other options for Philadelphia. But, as Derek Bodner of The Athletic writes, pursuing a restricted free agent complicates matters.

In order to submit an offer sheet to Brogdon, Russell, or Rozier, the Sixers would first need to create the requisite cap space necessary to sign one of them. The cap holds of Butler and Harris combined with the 2019/20 salaries of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons eat up just under $88.5MM of a projected $109MM cap, leaving a little more than $20.5MM in cap space. Adding in the $1MM in guaranteed salary owed to Jonathan Simmons, the salaries for Zhaire Smith and Jonah Bolden, and six incomplete roster holds equates to about $99.6MM.

Therefore, even if the Sixers renounced all of their free agents besides Butler and Harris (which seems unlikely given they would ideally like to re-sign J.J. Redick as well), renounced all their exceptions, and traded the No. 24 overall pick, they’d still only have about $9.4MM in cap space, which is likely not enough to offer Brogdon, Russell, or Rozier a contract commensurate with their value.

As such, the Sixers would ultimately need to also renounce their rights to Harris or Butler in order to pursue one of the aforementioned guards. They won’t do this with Butler, so it would have to be Harris. But here’s the risk: even if the Sixers negotiate a deal with Brogdon, Russell, or Rozier right at 6:00pm on June 30, the Bucks, Nets, or Celtics (all Eastern Conference rivals to the Sixers) would have until 12:00pm on July 8 – two days after the July moratorium ends – to decide whether to match the Sixers’ offer for Brogdon.

In other words, the two-day deadline to match an offer sheet does not commence until the moratorium is over, and you can be sure Milwaukee, Boston, or Brooklyn would take all of their allotted time. During the time period between the Sixers’ agreement with Brogdon, Russell, or Rozier and the opposing team’s ultimate decision – 7 days and 18 hours – the Sixers’ cap space would be completely tied up. It’s entirely possible that both Harris and Redick sign elsewhere during this time, as deals often get done at a breakneck speed during the first week of free agency.

If the Bucks, Nets, or Celtics decline to match, no harm done. But what if they match the offer sheet? The Sixers are left with a relatively significant amount of cap space with no free agents left to sign. And even if Harris and Redick are still available, they may be frustrated/resentful by the Sixers’ decision to go after Brogdon, Russell, or Rozier at their expense.

Ultimately, a decision like this comes down to how much the Sixers like the player for whom they’re incurring the risk. If the Sixers think Brogdon, Russell, Rozier, or any other restricted free agent can put them over the top, the risk may be worthwhile. If the player being pursued is just another piece, however, the risk is probably too much to bear.

Celtics Notes: Irving, Davis, Rozier, Baynes

Despite all the rumors linking him to the NBA’s two New York franchises, Kyrie Irving still hasn’t removed the Celtics from consideration as he mulls his free agency decision, multiple league sources tell Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald.

As Bulpett points out, Anthony Davis‘ trade destination and Kevin Durant‘s Achilles injury could be wild cards as Irving considers his options. There has been no definitive word on whether a Celtics trade for Davis would make Irving more likely to return to Boston, or whether the star point guard might hesitate to head to the Nets or Knicks if he won’t be able to team up with a healthy Durant next season. But it’s reasonable to assume that Kyrie will seriously weigh those factors.

For their part, the Celtics remain intent on trying to land Davis in a deal with the Pelicans, no matter what else transpires, sources tell Bulpett. We passed along all the latest rumors on Davis yesterday, including a report that the C’s remain engaged in trade discussions with New Orleans.

Here’s more out of Boston:

  • Terry Rozier‘s comments after the Celtics’ season ended indicated that he wasn’t satisfied with his situation in Boston and may look to move on in free agency this summer. However, that stance could quickly change if Irving doesn’t return, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. A source tells Blakely that Rozier would be “more than open” to sticking with the Celtics if an Irving departure opens up a larger role.
  • While agent Rich Paul‘s warning to the Celtics about trading for Davis raised eyebrows on Wednesday, it’s nothing new, says Jay King Of The Athletic, who points out that Boston has been aware for months of where AD’s camp stands. Within his article, King examines whether the Celtics should be cautious or aggressive in their pursuit of Davis, given the risk that he’d be a one-year rental.
  • After word broke on Wednesday that Aron Baynes had exercised his player option to remain with the Celtics for 2019/20, Blakely explored the impact of that decision at NBC Sports Boston, noting that it provides some much-needed stability in what could be a tumultuous offseason for the club.

Celtics Eyeing Clint Capela?

Veteran center Clint Capela appears to be a prime trade candidate for the Rockets this offseason, with one report indicating that Houston was gauging the market to assess Capela’s value, while another suggested that the team was “actively” exploring potential deals involving Capela, Eric Gordon, and/or P.J. Tucker.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, who identified the Celtics last month as one possible trade partner for the Rockets, tweets that – from what he has heard – Boston has “engaged pretty seriously” on Capela. Kyler cautions that things are fluid at this point in the offseason, pointing out that the Celtics may simply be doing their due diligence on possible scenarios.

Still, it’s interesting to consider how the Celtics’ potential interest in Capela might line up with the rest of their offseason plans. Al Horford and Aron Baynes have uncertain futures, as both veteran big men will have to make decisions soon on player options for the 2019/20 season — either player could, in theory, be traded if he opts in. Boston has also been linked off and on with Anthony Davis, the offseason’s biggest trade chip.

In addition to their unsettled frontcourt, the Celtics also have plenty of uncertainty at the point guard position, where both Kyrie Irving and Terry Rozier will be free agents. Irving seems increasingly unlikely to return to the C’s, with Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News becoming the latest reporter to cite a source who says there’s “nobody in Boston who thinks he’s staying.”

As for Rozier, Kyler says the Celtics have had “some level” of talks with the restricted-free-agent-to-be about a new contract.

Celtics Rumors: Horford, Ainge, Kyrie, Rozier, Herro

If Al Horford opts out of his contract this month, he’s probably unlikely to top his $30MM+ player-option salary on the open market, but he should be able to top that total figure on a multiyear deal. That’s a scenario that intrigues the Celtics.

Speaking today to reporters, including Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald, C’s president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said that restructuring Horford’s contract into a longer, more cap-friendly deal is a “priority” for the club this summer.

NBA rules don’t technically allow teams to restructure contracts to reduce cap hits in the same way that NFL franchises can. But if Horford turns down his player option, he and the Celtics could essentially start from scratch on a new deal — it wouldn’t be a restructuring so much as a brand new contract. If the C’s are able to negotiate a starting salary in the range of, say, $20-25MM, it would create some added cap flexibility for the coming offseason.

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • Despite suffering a mild heart attack last month, Ainge said he’s feeling good and will continue to lead the Celtics going forward, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. “My role is not going to change,” Ainge said.
  • We passed along some of Ainge’s comments on Kyrie Irving in an earlier story, but Boston’s president of basketball operations offered a few more observations on the All-Star point guard. As Himmelsbach relays, Ainge said he had no regrets about the risk the Celtics took when they acquired Irving in 2017, and dismissed the idea that Kyrie was largely to blame for the club’s struggles in 2018/19. “We had a lot of reasons the team did not succeed this year,” Ainge said. “Kyrie deserves his share of the blame, but not any more than anybody else. There’s a lot of guys that didn’t handle things the right way and didn’t make the sacrifices that needed to be done for the benefit of the team. So I think that they’re all going to learn from it, including Kyrie.”
  • Ainge praised restricted-free-agent-to-be Terry Rozier, despite the fact that Rozier has publicly griped about the role he had with the Celtics this season. “I think that if Terry was in the right circumstance and the right role, I think he would love playing in Boston,” Ainge said, per Himmelsbach.
  • Ainge also acknowledged that the Celtics will consider draft-pick trades and told reporters that Brad Stevens continues to meet with candidates to replace assistant coach Micah Shrewsberry, according to Murphy and Himmelsbach.
  • Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston tweets that the Celtics worked out Kevin Porter Jr. (USC), Luguentz Dort (Arizona State), Tyler Herro (Kentucky), Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (VA Tech), and Skyler Flatten (South Dakota State) on Tuesday. Herro made a strong impression, per Aaron Torres of FOX Sports (Twitter link).

Bulls Rumors: Ball, No. 7 Pick, Dunn, Asik

A report last month indicated that the Bulls and Lakers had “initial conversations” about Lonzo Ball prior to the 2019 trade deadline, and it sounds as if Chicago still has some interest in Ball. According to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune, Ball’s pass-first mentality, defensive ability, and positional size intrigue the Bulls, who will be on the lookout for a point guard this offseason.

Johnson’s latest article for The Tribune includes several other Bulls-related rumors and notes, so let’s round up the highlights…

  • Multiple league executives believe that top point guard prospects Darius Garland and Coby White received draft promises from teams that pick before the Bulls, says Johnson. If either Garland or White is available when Chicago is on the clock at No. 7, that player would be a good bet to end up in a Bulls uniform, Johnson adds.
  • League executives tell Johnson that Kris Dunn‘s trade value is “low to nonexistent,” so if the Bulls attempt to upgrade the point guard spot on the trade market, the former No. 5 pick is unlikely to be a major outgoing asset.
  • There’s internal optimism within the organization that the NBA will allow the Bulls to remove Omer Asik‘s cap charge from their books for medical reasons, Johnson writes. That would create an extra $3MM in cap space for the summer.
  • The Bulls may be more interested in restricted free agent point guards than many of the unrestricted options expected to be available. Johnson points to Terry Rozier and Malcolm Brogdon as two potential targets for the club.
  • The Bulls would also like to add a veteran big man in free agency, but the point guard position is the team’s top priority.

Terry Rozier, Patrick Beverley On Bulls’ Radar

The Bulls figure to be in the market for a point guard this summer, and Terry Rozier and Patrick Beverley are two veteran free-agents-to-be who are on their radar, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic.

Mayberry cites Rozier’s “fearless play and hard-nosed defensive effort” as traits that intrigue the Bulls, writing that there are people within the organization who believe that the Celtics point guard “could be exactly who the team needs.”

However, Rozier will be a restricted free agent this offseason and won’t come cheap. As Mayberry points out, he’s also the same age as Kris Dunn, so if the Bulls don’t believe there’s more room for Dunn to improve, it’s worth questioning whether the same is true of Rozier.

[RELATED: Knicks have interest in Terry Rozier]

As for Beverley, he’s another tough defender who would be a solid fit under head coach Jim Boylen, and he’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer. It doesn’t hurt matters that he’s a Chicago native, per Mayberry, though he notes that it’s unclear whether the Bulls’ front office prefers Rozier or Beverley.

There will be a number of other point guard options available this offseason for the Bulls, who have previously been linked to veterans like Ricky Rubio and Darren Collison. While it remains to be seen which direction Chicago will go, it seems safe to assume that the team will be prioritizing the position as it debates how to use its cap room, which could amount to about $20MM.

Knicks Have Interest In Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris

While Kyrie Irving has been linked to New York for months, he’s not the only Celtics free agent that the Knicks will have their eye on this offseason. League sources tell A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston that the Knicks will also have interest in Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris.

Rozier, who is finishing his rookie contract with Boston, will be eligible for restricted free agent, meaning the Celtics will have the option to match any offer sheet he signs, assuming they issue him a qualifying offer to retain his rights. Morris will be an unrestricted free agent.

While Rozier and Morris may be among the names on the Knicks’ wish list, the team figures to use its cap room to target top-tier free agents like Irving and Kevin Durant before turning to its Plan B or C. According to Blakely, New York has also expressed some interest in Daniel Theis, but he’d be even further down the club’s list, and isn’t considered a likely target.

Rozier’s free agency should be one of the more interesting cases this summer, particularly among non-stars. He spoke at the end of the Celtics’ season about wanting a “fresh start” and a more prominent role, whether that happens in Boston or elsewhere. And during an appearance today on ESPN’s Get Up (video link via Chris Grenham of NESN), he expressed little interest in returning to Boston if the C’s plan to run it back in 2019/20 with the same roster.

“I might have to go,” Rozier told Stephen A. Smith when asked about that scenario. “I put up with a lot this year. I said what I said after the season. I think we all know that I’m not trying to step into that again.”

During the same interview, Rozier also didn’t exactly offer an enthusiastic endorsement for his experience of playing alongside – and behind – Irving in Boston.

“He’s a great guy, great leader,” Rozier said of Irving (video link via The Undefeated). “You know, you just have to adjust to his style. Whatever Kyrie wants done, he’s gonna show it, that’s what he wants done. You have to adjust to his style of play and how he goes about every game and every day.”

Celtics Notes: Irving, Rozier, Davis

The Celtics understood the chance they were taking with Kyrie Irving when they traded for him two years ago, writes Jeff Goodman of Stadium. Irving wanted to leave a successful situation in Cleveland because he was tired of playing a supporting role to LeBron James. Boston’s front office knew Irving had a reputation that might make him a tough fit, but was willing to accept the risk.

“Doesn’t want to listen to anybody,” a Cavaliers source told Goodman. “I’ve been around more selfish guys, but when you add up those three – moody, immature and tough to coach – he doesn’t have a leg to stand on.”

There’s speculation that Irving’s time in Boston might be done as he gets ready to opt out of a $21.3MM salary and test the free agent market. If he leaves, his final game in a Celtics uniform will be a 6 for 21 shooting performance in a 25-point loss in Milwaukee.

“Everyone respects his talent,” a Celtics player told Goodman earlier this season, “but he’s hard to play with. It’s all about him.”

There’s more today out of Boston:

  • A breakup would be best for both Irving and the Celtics, contends Ben Golliver of The Washington Post. Boston needed to add a star when president of basketball operations Danny Ainge pulled the trigger on the Cleveland deal, but it hasn’t worked out the way he hoped. Facing his first playoff test with the Celtics, Irving wilted badly, playing well in just one of the five games against the Bucks. On top of that, he teammates seemed to take on his personality, pointing fingers at each other throughout the season and not fighting back when things got tough in the playoffs.
  • Restricted free agent Terry Rozier didn’t hold back in addressing the issues that affected the team, relays Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports“I sacrificed the most out of anybody,” said Rozier, who was moved to a backup role after a stellar performance in last year’s playoffs. “I’m a top point guard in this league. I feel like it’s a fresh start, whether I’m here or whether I’m gone.” Rozier admitted that coach Brad Stevens was in a difficult position “dealing with all these guys with attitudes” and said he saw warning signs on the first day of training camp.
  • The Celtics’ offseason focus will turn not only to Irving, but also to Anthony Davis trade talks, writes Bobby Marks of ESPN. Boston was considered to be the favorite to land Davis once the trade deadline passed, but Marks notes that two important changes have occurred since then. David Griffin has taken over as head of basketball operations in New Orleans and will make an effort to get Davis to reconsider his trade demand, and Irving, who would be a selling point to get Davis to sign a long-term deal in Boston, may be on the way out.

Celtics Notes: Rozier, Thomas, Horford, T. Robinson

Celtics guard Terry Rozier has formed a strong bond with president of basketball operations Danny Ainge even though he has been on the trading block this year, writes Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. Rozier shined while Kyrie Irving was sidelined with an injury during last year’s playoffs, but has struggled to fit into a backup role this season. With restricted free agency looming this summer, Rozier seemed like a natural candidate for a deal.

“I know he had some thoughts about trading me this year,” Rozier said. “I respected the business side of it. I don’t ever try to get too much in other people’s jobs. I try to do my job, which is on the court. Like I said, I know he had thoughts, but it didn’t happen.”

Ainge has been a believer in Rozier since drafting him with the 16th pick in 2015 when he was projected as a late first-rounder at best. He resisted trading Rozier because of his potential value in the playoffs, but there’s still no guarantee that the fourth-year guard will remain in Boston beyond this season.

There’s more Celtics news to pass along:

  • Isaiah Thomas can expect a warm reception when he returns to Boston tomorrow night, both from fans and former teammates, relays Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports. Thomas, who has fallen out of the Nuggets’ rotation, may finally get a tribute video. He was injured in his only other trip to the city since being traded and requested that the Celtics not produce a video then. “One of the reasons I came here (to Boston) was to play with him, and one of the things I always admire about Isaiah is his heart,” Al Horford said. “Just leaving it all out there. It didn’t matter if he was hurt or there was something wrong. He’s a guy that loves to compete, that plays hard, that plays to win, and it was just a lot of fun to play with him.”
  • An injury scare for Horford during yesterday’s win over the Hawks showed why the Celtics want to give him some rest before the playoffs, notes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Horford left the game after banging knees with an Atlanta player in the third quarter. He was able to return, but Boston plans to give him three or four games off to ensure his health for the postseason.
  • The Celtics’ G League affiliate in Maine has officially added former NBA forward Thomas Robinson, tweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe, who suggests that Robinson might be considered for Boston’s open roster spot. The Red Claws play four more games before their season ends Saturday.