Storyline: Terry Rozier Trade?

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Terry Rozier trade unlikely

Meanwhile, the Celtics as a team and Rozier have stumbled at times over the course of a 6-4 start, with Rozier playing to his usual skillset from both a positive and negative standpoint. Great rebounding, a low turnover rate, solid 3-point shooting are the plusses. Lackluster finishing at the rim (32 percent on 2-point field goals) and a low assist rate remain the main negatives of his game. With seemingly too many mouths to feed on the Celtics bench, Rozier, on the surface, would appear to be a trade candidate if Danny Ainge wanted to shake things up. However, a league source tells Bostonsportsjournal.com that a trade of Rozier during the season is extremely unlikely. A closer look at the factors in play make it easy to see why.

The Celtics have one of the NBA’s better backcourts, a nice blend of offense (Isaiah Thomas), defense (Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier) and a burgeoning star capable of both (Avery Bradley). It’s also one of the league’s most affordable, with Bradley ($8.3 million) and Thomas ($6.6 million) making well below market value, and Smart and Rozier on rookie deals. That will change soon. Smart is eligible for an extension in 2017. A $10 million-plus offer will be the starting point of negotiations. Thomas and Bradley will be free agents in 2018, eligible for max salaries of $32.4 million per season. Neither will likely come near that, but understand: This is the ballpark Boston is playing in. The Celtics won’t pay all of them. They can’t pay all of them, not if they want to continue to pursue another impact player. If the Celtics make a significant trade, it will undoubtedly include one or more of their star guards.

During a recent sitdown with WBZ-TV, Ainge pointed to some of Boston’s youngest players while discussing the sort of talent that could blossom with bigger roles. “I really believe it’s an opportunity league. There are many players that are sitting on benches on other teams that are stacked with talent that just don’t get an opportunity. We have some on our team,” Ainge said on “Sports Final.” “We think [2015 second-round pick] Jordan Mickey has a bright future and [2015 first-round pick] Terry Rozier has a bright future and we’ve gotten calls from other teams about them that say, ‘Those guys aren’t getting an opportunity in Boston, we want to get those guys to come play for us.’ But we’re going to try to be patient with them as well, and other young guys.”
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