Rozier acknowledged that he had to weigh the balance of contributing to a contender or seeking a more high-profile and less predictable role. His frustration never boiled over into a trade request. “If you know me, I’m not one to stir the pot,” said Rozier. “That’s not me. That’s not how I do things.” He proved his value in last year’s playoffs, and he can continue to do so in a reserve role on another deep run. Come July, Rozier can revisit the choice between re-signing with a star-studded roster in Boston or seeking a more lucrative opportunity elsewhere. That decision may already be made, or the Celtics might make it for him, but he’s not going to let it get in the way of his success. Not anymore. “I just need to play my game,” said Rozier, “and the rest of that stuff will work itself out.”
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Up in the land of Kyrie, Knicks coach David Fizdale gave his strongest case yet that the Knicks have become an attractive free-agent destination after 25 games on the job. The Knicks are closing in on having cap space for a maximum salary this summer but have work to do. Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving, a Northern Jersey product, was considered their best chance until he proclaimed he will re-sign, but that is no guarantee after the Celtics’ sluggish start. Irving’s backup, Terry Rozier, is also a restricted free agent, and the two of them may not be able to coexist long term. The Knicks like Rozier a lot, according to a source.
The Knicks are closing in on having cap space for a maximum salary this summer but have work to do. Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving, a Northern Jersey product, was considered their best chance until he proclaimed he will re-sign, but that is no guarantee after the Celtics’ sluggish start. Irving’s backup, Terry Rozier, is also a restricted free agent, and the two of them may not be able to coexist long term. The Knicks like Rozier a lot, according to a source.
On Rick Pitino’s podcast you said you want everything you deserve in free agency. What do you mean by that? Terry Rozier: Yeah, that podcast was old. I did that podcast about a month ago. (That) shit (is) dumb old. So I don’t know why he’s just now coming out with it. It was just more attention on myself, so everything was just — but I want everything I deserve. And I’m going to get everything I deserve. Like I said, I’ve been around this game long enough to see how both sides work, and that’s why it helped me make my decisions.
The Celtics and point guard Terry Rozier will not come to an agreement on a contract extension prior to Monday’s deadline, two league sources told the Globe. According to one source, Rozier is determined to become a starting point guard in the NBA, and next summer will seek the minutes and money of a starter, perhaps in the $20 million-per-season range.
“There’s not going to be any extension,” the source said. “It wouldn’t make any sense for Terry to do that.” It was never likely that Rozier, 24, would sign an extension given his current role as a backup to Kyrie Irving. Then last week Irving publicly declared his intention to re-sign with the Celtics after this season, making Rozier’s interest in a long-term extension on a team-friendly deal even more of a long shot. Irving likely will command a five-year, $189 million maximum-salary contract.
Adam Himmelsbach: Stevens on Rozier: “I think it’s very clear how all of us players, coaches and front office, people in Boston, everybody you run into, how they feel about Terry. And it’d be great if we could have him here for a long, long, time.”
Adam Himmelsbach: Terry Rozier on possible contract extension: “We’ve been trying to focus on us and I’ve been trying to take the pressure off the extension thing. So I’m focused on the team. If it’s right for me to sign an extension, I will. If it’s not, it still can happen in the summer.”
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December 18, 2018 | 3:43 am EST Update
Kuzma may have taken the mantle of the Lakers’ second star for now, but that won’t stop the team from seeking an established All-Star. Can Ingram adjust to being a third or even fourth scoring option? “[Ingram] will probably be traded at some point, whether it’s for a second or third star,” another NBA front-office executive said.
To date, Los Angeles has not offered players such as Ingram, Kuzma, Ball and Hart in trade discussions. They value each of them highly. The Lakers should have enough cap space to keep all four and still sign a top free agent like Kevin Durant (2019-20 player option), Klay Thompson or Kawhi Leonard (player option) this offseason. Will Ingram still be a part of L.A.’s young core in six months?
But the C’s may be battling with their historic rival if (when) Davis becomes available. “Boston has been hawking Anthony Davis for years,” Wojnarowski said in an ESPN video with Zach Lowe. “They always hoped that it would be, whether it’s the end of this season or the beginning of next before the trade deadline, that they would gather up all those assets, all those picks Danny Ainge has, [all the] young players, and they’d be the team to be able to get Anthony Davis. But now you have L.A. and if they get shut out in free agency, they’re going to have to take all their young players to try to use them to get Anthony Davis.”
A day later in Oakland, where the Raptors had gone to face Golden State, I circled back with Leonard to make sure I read the situation right. Sure enough, as he confirmed, he didn’t know the man who had been standing there when we said hello. “No, who was it?” he asked. “Lawrence Frank, the head of the Clippers’ front office,” I replied. “Oh, that was Lawrence Frank?” he said with a smile (and no, to answer the obvious question, he didn’t share one of his legendary laughs).
“I’ve dealt with this before with DeMar — the speculation — and I will be happy for Kawhi Leonard when he makes his decision,” Lowry told The Athletic. “Nothing else matters but his happiness, and that’s how I am, because our brotherhood is too small for us to say this, that and the other (about another player’s free agency decision). Our brotherhood in the NBA is really tiny, and we really all appreciate and support and want each other happy. That’s where it is with me and that situation. I just want him to be happy.”
So why were the Suns so eager to trade someone who was was signed to help change the franchise’s culture, started all 26 games he played and was so respected by his teammates? According to league sources, this was a “mutual” decision between Ariza and the Suns.