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With Rozier hitting restricted free agency later in July, he was pressed about his future in Boston. “I’m looking forward to just play ball,” Rozier said. “I don’t care where I go. Obviously the Celtics is the only organization I knew for four years. I love it there, and we just have to go from there. … I expect for me to get my chance, whether it’s with the Celtics or it’s anywhere else. I feel like I can be myself and play my game wherever I go.” He was asked later in the program though about the possibility of coming back with this current roster intact and threw cold water on the idea. “I might have to go. 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.”
Chris Grenham: Terry Rozier tells @FirstTake that if the Celtics wanted to bring back this year’s team next season: “I might have to go. 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.”
Rozier said he believed his teammates got used to Irving’s leadership style by the end of the season. But in Rozier’s eyes, there still was an on-court disconnect between how the Celtics practiced with Irving and how they played. “We would come in the game and it would be a different game plan than what we kind of expected and kind of went through in practice, so it was different,” Rozier admitted.
“We had the first five and then we had the second five (in practice). And when we go out there, I feel like a lot of guys would be mixed up. It wouldn’t be the first five and the second five. “So, what we’d be talking about in practice is not what we went through in the game. It was like, all right, we’re going to keep Kyrie out there and put the other guys out there with him, and we’re going to figure it out.”
Multiple league sources tell NBC Sports Boston that the Knicks, a team with plenty of roster holes to fill this offseason, have interest in at least two other Celtics players besides Irving — Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier — who like Irving, will be free agents this summer. New York’s interest in Rozier has been steady, only to have picked up during Rozier’s strong showing in the playoffs last year and continued through the February trade deadline, which is when Boston made the decision to keep Rozier and the rest of the team intact.
And while Irving is the bigger priority for New York, if the Knicks are able to land the No. 1 overall pick and package that in a trade for Anthony Davis while also securing Kevin Durant via free agency from Golden State, that would take them more or less out of the hunt for signing Irving and force them to potentially swing a deal for a less-established playmaker like ex-Celtic Rajon Rondo or a young player with upside… a player like Rozier.
“I don’t give a f— what nobody say, I sacrificed the most out of anybody. 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.” said Rozier, a star last postseason in Irving’s absence who’s about to hit restricted free agency in July.
Tom Westerholm: Terry Rozier told me yesterday “I’m just grateful to still be wearing ‘Celtics’ across my chest.” He told Yahoo “I feel like I sacrificed the most, but I’d do it any day for this team.” Clearly he’s been unhappy, but I’m … honestly not sure with whom.
Jay King: Terry Rozier on what he wants in free agency: “I’m looking forward to a family, someone that greets me like a family and is gonna invest in me all the way. Other than that I’m gonna go from there.” His thoughts on the Celtics, who will have option to match offers: “No comment.”
Meanwhile, Terry Rozier gave a “no comment” when asked about the Celtics having his matching rights, commending Brad Stevens for “dealing with a lot of guys that want to be great trying to get theirs.” The Celtics held on to Rozier as an insurance policy in case Irving left this summer, but Rozier and his agents will try to price the team out of his market. It leaves Boston with a conundrum of whether, with Rozier likely gone, moving forward with Irving is actually in their best interest.
Another cause is an age-old conflict — lack of playing time. Rozier, who was a postseason star in 2018 while Irving recovered from knee surgery, saw his minutes and his shots reduced in a season when he was approaching free agency. “I felt like I went from the passenger seat to the trunk,” Rozier says, with a wry smile. “Everybody tells you, ‘Don’t think about the contract, don’t think about the money.’ I always tell myself, ‘I’ll get what I deserve one day. Maybe not this day, but one day.'”
Rozier will also be a restricted free agent, with Phoenix considered by league sources as a team likely to make a strong push for the point guard. The Suns offered a protected first-round pick for Rozier before the season, but Boston demanded an unprotected first, per league sources. Were Irving to leave, Rozier would be his logical replacement in the starting lineup.
The second is a function of the market as it stands. According to league sources, while there are certainly teams interested in Smith, there is some reluctance to make a commitment to him because there could be other more traditional young point guards on the market this summer. There will be the likes of Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker in free agency, of course. But for rebuilding teams in need of a point guard — Orlando and Phoenix have been mentioned as possible Smith suitors — the preference is to take aim at young restricted free agents like Terry Rozier or D’Angelo Russell this summer rather than gamble on whether Smith can develop into a point guard. “He is very athletic, but he’s not a playmaker and not a great shooter,” one front office executive told SN. “If you have money under the cap this offseason (the Suns and Magic will), there are other guys you can pursue who fit better, who can pass and score.”
With Dinwiddie off the free-agency board, Rozier and Russell benefit the most. However, as restricted free agency has taught us in recent years, Boston and Brooklyn have all the leverage until an offer sheet is presented. League execs identified the Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns as potential suitors for both players.
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.”
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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May 25, 2019 | 8:19 pm EDT Update
Darren Wolfson: The #Twolves will have healthy representation next week in Santa Monica and Thousand Oaks for a bunch of agency Pro Days, including getting to see Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura at Wasserman’s on Tuesday morning.