Terry Rozier

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Atlantic Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Atlantic Division:

Terry Rozier, Celtics, 24, PG (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $8.8MM deal in 2015
Rozier showed he could be effective starter filling in for Kyrie Irving during the playoffs. With Irving back in the lineup, Rozier has been forced into a second-unit role again. He has expressed a desire to be a starter in the future and that’s not going to happen if Irving re-signs with Boston. Rozier’s stats aren’t that far off from last regular season but it’s been difficult for the restricted free agent, who is currently ranked No. 18 in our Free Agent Power Rankings, to enhance his value while playing 22 MPG.

DeMarre Carroll, Nets, 32, SF (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $58MM deal in 2015
Carroll’s offensive numbers have been unsightly since he returned from an injury in early November. He’s shooting 34.4% from the field and 30.8% from long range. He’s also been a defensive liability, according to Basketball Reference, which gives him a minus 1.6 Defensive Box Plus/Minus rating. Carroll cashed in at an opportune time the last time he was a free agent. He’s going to find the offers much more modest next summer, given his age and declining production.

Emmanuel Mudiay, Knicks, 22, PG (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $14MM deal in 2015
The way first-year head coach David Fizdale has been tinkering with his lineup and rotation, it’s hard for anyone on the roster to feel comfortable. The point guard situation has remained a muddle, with Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina and Trey Burke taking turns as the main guy and sitting in the doghouse. Mudiay had a 28-point performance against Milwaukee earlier this month but the Knicks have been outscored by 46 points over the last three games with the restricted free agent on the court. His grasp on a starting spot seems tenuous at best.

Mike Muscala, Sixers, 27, PF (Up) — Signed to a two-year, $10MM deal in 2017
Muscala has reinvented himself as a stretch four and he’s become a valued member of Philadelphia’s rotation. He’s averaging 10.7 PPG, 6.7 RPG and 2.2 APG over the past six games. He had an 18-point outing to help the Sixers erase a 15-point deficit in Detroit last week. If Muscala can keep this up for one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams, he’ll be in line for a nice payday next summer and might even find a suitor that views him as a starter.

Danny Green, Raptors, 31, SG (Up)– Signed to a four-year, $40MM deal in 2015
Kawhi Leonard isn’t the only former Spur making a major impact north of the border. Green seems rejuvenated as well. His shooting numbers declined during his last three seasons in San Antonio but with Toronto he’s posting his best averages since the 2012/13 season. He’s shooting 44.2% overall and 42.1% from deep. His defensive metrics have remained well above average. Green should be able to score one more multi-year contract, whether he re-signs with Toronto and gets a starting job elsewhere.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Terry Rozier Discusses His Future, Desire To Start

Terry Rozier showcased his ability to be a starting point guard in the NBA during last season’s playoffs, yet he’s stuck behind Kyrie Irving in Boston. Rozier’s future with the club remains unclear, as he will be a restricted free agent after the season. During an appearance on Rick Pitino’s podcast, he spoke about his desire to run with the first team.

“I’m going into my fifth year after this, so I would love to start,” Rozier told Pitino (via Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports). “Nothing is wrong with being the sixth man coming off the bench, but I don’t really look at myself as that. But that’s not my main focus. Of course I want to win. I’ve been a winner all my life, coming through your program and then being with the Boston Celtics.

“I like winning. I don’t know how I can adjust if I try to take a starting job somewhere but I’m playing for an awful team and we’re not winning no more. It’s just something that I don’t think that I can adjust to — being around people that’s OK with just losing.”

Rozier said he wants to keep his options open. “I feel like I’ve seen a lot in these four years how much a business this is. I think I should get everything I deserve,” he explained.

GM Danny Ainge is a huge fan of Rozier, though it will difficult for the Celtics to pay top dollar for a player who won’t be able to crack the starting five. That scenario assumes Irving stays put, as the former No. 1 pick stated he would. Should Irving change course and depart as a free agent this summer, Scary Terry may be able to find “everything” he’s looking for without leaving town.

Atlantic Notes: Fizdale, Leonard, Celtics, Brown

Knicks coach David Fizdale plans to keep his emotions in check today as he returns to Memphis to face the team that fired him after 19 games last season, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post. Fizdale took the Grizzlies to the playoffs during his first season with the organization, but was discarded last year as the team got off to a rough start highlighted by an early-season injury to Mike Conley and Fizdale’s feud with Marc Gasol.

Fizdale became one of the hottest free agents on the coaching market, interviewing with several teams before accepting the job in New York. He insists he’s not bitter about the experience in Memphis, saying it taught him lessons that made him a better coach.

“Probably the emotional part will be me remembering the good part of it,” he said. “I got a standing ovation in that building from a great fan base, and that’s the moment I’m going to remember, in the playoffs when we fought our butts off against the Spurs, and those guys being able to give me that moment as a young coach, and to share that moment with them. I’ll never forget that.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Heat forward James Johnson, who spent three and a half seasons in Toronto, believes Kawhi Leonard will find a lot to like about the city, relays Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Leonard is averaging 24.4 points per game and has propelled the Raptors to a 16-4 start, the best record in the league. “I think guys are more focused on winning now and getting to a team that can get to those Eastern Conference finals or can get to the championship series,” Johnson said. “So I don’t think it’s about place anymore. It’s about building the right team.”
  • The slumping Celtics are having trouble finding the right roles for the younger players who helped them reach the Eastern Conference finals last season, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Terry Rozier has struggled in his return to a reserve role, Jaylen Brown‘s shot has been off all season and Jayson Tatum is settling too often for long two-point shots.
  • X-rays were negative after Brown landed hard on his back late in last night’s game, according to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald.
  • The Celtics were counting on a draft pick bonanza in June with picks possibly coming from the Kings, Grizzlies and Clippers, but based on the current standings all of those would be later than Boston’s selection, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe.

Celtics Notes: Stevens, Irving, Morris, Rozier

Coach Brad Stevens altered the starting lineup for Monday’s game at Charlotte, and he told A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston that it will probably happen again. Stevens opted for more size in the matchup with the Hornets, inserting center Aron Baynes into the starting five in place of Gordon Hayward.

“We’re not done probably tweaking the lineups,” Stevens said. “And so, I do think you’ll see more.”

Stevens is trying to spark a team that has stumbled to a 9-8 start after being the preseason favorite to win the East. Few of the combinations he has used this season have provided any consistency, so he continues to mix and match in hopes of shaking things up. Even so, Blakely adds that the Celtics are remaining patient and a major move is unlikely, at least for a while.

There’s more news out of Boston:

  • Kyrie Irving made a verbal commitment last month to stay with the Celtics when he becomes a free agent next summer, but Blakely wonders in another story if he might be rethinking his decision. Blakely notes that when Irving made his announcement he believed there was enough talent in place that he wouldn’t have to carry the team every night. However, that may not turn out to be true.
  • There are concerns about the locker room atmosphere in Boston in the wake of the disappointing start, relays Jay King of The Athletic. Veteran forward Marcus Morris suggests that the anxiety may be a result of having so many young players on the roster. “The mood swings are really high,” he said, “and I think that’s the difference between having a veteran team and having a young team. Veterans, game over, you get rid of it, you throw it in the trash, you get ready for the next game. I think our mood goes game by game. And I think to be a successful team down the road you can’t be that way.”
  • Stevens is dismissing a social media message from Terry Rozier that some interpreted as a sign that he wants traded, writes Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston. “Let’s do us ALL a favor,” Rozier tweeted Tuesday, before saying later that it had nothing to do with basketball. “I’m not going to pretend to read into tweets,” Stevens said. “I guess I don’t pay attention to that that much.” 

Atlantic Rumors: Rozier, Dudley, Chandler, Knicks

Unless Kyrie Irving has a change of heart about staying in Boston, the Knicks won’t have a shot at signing the Celtics’ starting point guard. They might have a chance at Boston’s other talent point man, Marc Berman of New York Post speculates. Terry Rozier would be a good fit for them, since they’re still trying to choose among Frank Ntilikina, Emmanuel Mudiay and Trey Burke. Ntilikina, Noah Vonleh, Allonzo Trier and Damyean Dotson are some of the young players New York could dangle as trade bait for Rozier, Berman opines. Rozier will be a restricted free agent in July.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Veteran forward Jared Dudley has been a pleasant surprise on and off the court for the Nets, Chris Milholen of Nets Daily writes. Dudley, acquired from the Suns in an offseason deal, has posted modest numbers but he’s started every game and he’s served as a mentor to the team’s younger players. “He’s doing it in the locker room and he’s also doing it with his play, because he doesn’t need the ball in his hands,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. Dudley’s $9.53MM salary comes off the books at the end of the season.
  • Sixers forward Wilson Chandler will remain on a minutes restriction as he works his way back from a hamstring injury, Sarah Todd of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Chandler will play approximately 15 minutes until coach Brett Brown is satisfied that he can handle a back-to-back situation. “I think the minute restriction won’t be long, a couple weeks or so, it’s not long term, I’m not worried about that at all,” Chandler told Todd.
  • The Knicks’ trio of president Steve Mills, GM Scott Perry and coach David Fizdale have put a plan into action designed for the long-term health of the franchise, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today writes. They are focused on player development and building through the draft rather than the quick-fix solution that have dragged down the franchise for so long.

Poll: Terry Rozier’s Future In Boston

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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Atlantic Notes: Rozier, Siakam, Fisher, Raptors

Celtics guard Terry Rozier is still getting adjusted to his role off the bench, competing with Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown for minutes in Boston’s crowded backcourt. He was the team’s starting point guard in the spring when Irving was sidelined, but has been limited to just 22.7 minutes per game in 10 contests this season.

“I go from starting in the playoffs to coming off the bench … I’m pretty sure it’s not easy for nobody,” Rozier said, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “But I’m not complaining. And, if you know me, I would never be the one to complain about it.

“I would never go to the media or bring out the unhappy thing. Like I said, people that know me know I wouldn’t do that. I’ve never been a selfish type of person, selfish player. You can tell the way I play I’m all about team.

“Everything will be all right. It’s not as bad as people make it seem.”

Bill Simmons of The Ringer tweeted Thursday that Rozier was unhappy with his playing time and that Boston could look to trade him before February’s deadline. At least seven teams would have interest in trading for Rozier, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, but Rozier seems content to stay in Boston for now.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Pascal Siakam‘s early season play has changed the Raptors, playing a key role in the team’s hot 10-1 start, Anisa Jamal of FanSided writes. Siakam has averaged 12.5 points and seven rebounds in 27.9 minutes per game, starting in every contest but one.
  • Derek Fisher wouldn’t have accepted the Knicks‘ head coaching job if he knew running the triangle offense was mandatory, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “I wasn’t smart enough to ask the right questions going into taking and accepting the job,” Fisher said.
  • The Raptors have remained flexible with their starting lineups, a key component to their success this season, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times writes. “We’ve got maybe eight starters and we’re giving them a chance to start every once in a while,” said coach Nick Nurse, who labeled the importance of being versatile.

Latest On Terry Rozier

On Wednesday, one report indicated that Terry Rozier was unhappy with his playing time so far this season and another suggested that seven teams were monitoring him to see if the Celtics will start listening to trade inquiries. However, the C’s are downplaying the idea that Rozier is dissatisfied with his role or that he’ll be on the trade market this season.

Appearing on the radio show Toucher & Rich today, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said that Rozier hasn’t complained about his playing time at all to Ainge (link via Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston).

“I talk to Terry quite a bit and I haven’t heard any of those types of things. So I don’t know how reliable any of the sources or rumors are,” Ainge said, per Forsberg. “Terry knew going in this year what his situation, what his role was going to be, and he was as excited and enthusiastic as anybody on our team for the upcoming season. 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.”

Ainge said he believes Rozier would come to him or head coach Brad Stevens if he were upset at all, and that hasn’t happened so far. The C’s president added that no teams have called him about Rozier since the regular season started, and he doesn’t know anything about the seven clubs reportedly monitoring him.

Meanwhile, Jeff Goodman of Stadium tweets that he talked to Rozier about his role in Boston last week and the point guard showed “a ton of maturity.” According to Goodman, the 24-year-old said he’d obviously like to play more, but he knew coming into the season that minutes would be hard to come by in a loaded Celtics rotation, as Ainge indicated.

Finally, a league source tells Brian Robb of BostonSportsJournal.com that a Rozier trade before February’s deadline is “extremely unlikely.”

If Rozier is truly unhappy with his situation in Boston and wants to be dealt, it would hurt the team’s leverage in potential negotiations, so it’s no surprise that Ainge and the Celtics would be eager to dismiss the idea that anything is amiss. On the other hand, it also would make sense that the franchise genuinely wants to hang onto Rozier through the 2018/19 season, even if re-signing him as a restricted free agent in 2019 is far from a sure thing.

The Celtics, despite a modest 6-4 start, are still one of the deepest and most talented teams in the NBA, and making an in-season deal that includes a key rotation player like Rozier could impact the team’s chemistry and/or depth. Additionally, even though Kyrie Irving has verbally committed to re-signing with the club in 2019, that won’t be official until he puts pen to paper in July — trading his backup in February may be an unnecessary risk for the C’s, especially if no team is willing to offer a substantial package for Rozier.

This situation is definitely worth watching over the next couple months, but for now it seems more likely than not that Rozier remains a Celtic through the trade deadline.

Celtics Notes: Rozier, Irving, Lottery, Morris

The Celtics should resist the temptation to trade backup point guard Terry Rozier, writes Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. A report surfaced this morning that Rozier is dissatisfied with his reduced role and several teams are waiting to see if Boston decides to deal him.

Rozier had a breakthrough performance in the postseason after Kyrie Irving was sidelined by knee surgery. Rozier averaged more than 36 minutes per night, posted a 16.5/5.3/5.7 line and helped the Celtics reach Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. With Irving back on the court, Rozier is playing fewer than 23 minutes a game and his numbers have fallen across the board, which is bad news as he heads toward free agency.

Given Irving’s injury history, Rozier still has a lot of value in Boston, and even if he remains a reserve, he may be the most explosive scorer the Celtics can bring off their bench. Boston’s front office is confident it will eventually get value for Rozier, Forsberg adds, even if it’s in a sign-and-trade next summer.

There’s more Celtics news to pass along:

  • Irving has pledged to remain with the Celtics when he opts out of his current contract, but ESPN analyst Jalen Rose isn’t convinced that it’s a good fit, relays Adam London of NESN. Appearing on “Get Up!,” Rose said Irving is among the 12 most talented players in the league, but questioned whether his isolation style works on a team that emphasizes passing and cutting. He also suggested that Irving’s presence may be holding back younger players such as Rozier, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
  • In the wake of last night’s outstanding performance by Duke freshmen R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson, Forsberg tweets the lottery odds for the Kings’ first-rounder that will likely go to the Celtics. Despite Sacramento’s respectable start, Forsberg finds that it has a 99.9% chance of ending up in the lottery, an 82.1% chance of falling between picks two and 10, a 25% chance of being between two and five and a 7.5% shot at being No. 1. Boston will get the higher pick between the Sixers and Kings, but the choice is protected if it’s first overall.
  • Marcus Morris credits an offseason regimen of  flexibility training, deep-tissue massage and meditation for his hot start to the new season, relays Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. At age 29, Morris is putting up career highs in scoring and rebounding, along with career bests in shooting from the field, foul line and 3-point range.

Cavs Rumors: Rozier, Korver, Smith, Rotation

The Cavaliers are among the teams with interest in Celtics point guard Terry Rozier, league sources tell Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net. As we relayed earlier today, there are reportedly at least seven teams around the NBA monitoring Rozier, who is said to be unhappy with his playing time. It sounds like it’s safe to assume that Cleveland is one of those seven teams.

Of course, the Cavs used the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 draft on Collin Sexton, a player they hope will be capable of developing into their point guard of the future. Sexton’s still very early in his developmental process though, and plenty of teams around the NBA use lineups that feature more than one point guard, so that doesn’t mean that Rozier couldn’t be a fit in Cleveland.

Here’s more on the Cavs:

  • During a recent appearance on The Jump (video link; hat tip to AmicoHoops.net), ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said that he expects trade interest to be much stronger for Kyle Korver than J.R. Smith, but cautions that Korver would be more attractive as a trade chip if he was on a true expiring contract, rather than having a partial guarantee for next season. Wojnarowski expects the Cavaliers to be able to move both players, but suggests they shouldn’t expect more than a second-round pick for either, and may have to take on some money.
  • The Cavaliers don’t seem to view Larry Nance Jr. as a potential four, and Channing Frye only works in certain matchups, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, who suggests that the team may lean more heavily on smaller power forwards with Kevin Love and Sam Dekker sidelined. Cedi Osman, Korver, and Smith are among the candidates.
  • Cavaliers veterans are happy that the team agreed to renegotiate Larry Drew‘s contract, creating some certainty at the head coaching position for this season, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. “It’s just good to know they made a decision, for me,” Nance said. “It lets you go forward. I think some progress can be made.”