The Boston Celtics have a lot of good players and not as many minutes to go around, which has left Terry Rozier frustrated early in the season.
Rozier put together his best season in the NBA last year, posting career-highs in many meaningful stats. Some of those numbers came during the absence Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart. With both players now healthy, Rozier has seen a reduction in minutes as he’s averaged 22 minutes per game in four contests this season. By comparison, he averaged nearly 37 minutes per game in the playoffs last season.
While he understands the situation, Rozier acknowledges it’s frustrating not getting the minutes he wants.
Terry Rozier admitted it's tough when he doesn't get the minutes he wants. "But Coach does not have the easiest job. He has the toughest job out of all of us. And I can respect that. … I still come in every day and I bust my butt…"
The Celtics boast a wealth of talent with players like Irving, Smart, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Al Horford. As Rozier noted, that gives head coach Brad Stevens the task of keeping everyone (relatively) happy while trying to win games.
Rozier and the Celtics could not come to an agreement on an extension to Rozier’s rookie contract. When playing for a contract, getting minutes to show what you can do helps. Right now, Rozier doesn’t feel like he’s getting as many of those as he would like. Teams around the league are probably hoping the logjam leads Boston to make Rozier available via trade.
Brad Stevens is making it quite clear how he feels about Terry Rozier.
Rozier was a first-round pick by the Boston Celtics in 2015 and entering his fourth season with the team. He blossomed last season amid injuries to Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, averaging 11.3 points per game during the regular season and 16.5 points per game during the playoffs.
Boston has until the season opener to extend Rozier beyond his rookie contract, but NBC Sports Boston says that is unlikely to come. Regardless, Stevens hopes the Celtics will have Rozier around for a long time.
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."
Rozier says that he is open to signing an extension after the season.
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."
Boston has Hayward under contract for potentially three more seasons. Irving says he wants to remain with the team longterm. Marcus Smart is already locked up through 2021-22. Boston has so much money already committed that they may have to make a decision on keeping either Rozier or Jaylen Brown.
The start of the NBA season is just over one week away, with the Celtics and Hornets competing in the first preseason game Friday, Sept. 28. Odds once again favor the Warriors to win it all, while Boston has the second-best title odds.
Though Golden State is a heavy favorite, last season proved even the league’s best are vulnerable. With LeBron heading to L.A., the already-loaded West has become a verifiable murderer’s row.
Get excited – the race for the Larry O’Brien Trophy begins soon. Here are 10 players with a lot to prove in the 2018-19 season.
10. John Wall, Wizards
Last season was a rough one for John Wall. After signing a $170 million extension with the Wizards, he missed two months (from late January-March) with a hand injury. He never seemed to find a real rhythm. During the season, he was criticized for being out of shape, and tempers in Washington’s locker room boiled over. Wall said the team was “not having fun right now.” The dynamics with Wall and Bradley Beal seem to be unpredictable – good today, bad tomorrow. No one questions Wall’s talent, and he’s been electric in the postseason – but this season, he needs to prove he can lead a team for a full season and be the central figure (the leader!) on a roster that actually gets along.
The Phoenix Suns made a rather curious trade on Thursday, but they’ve apparently been trying to make some even bigger moves recently.
According to Arizona Sports 98.7’s John Gambadoro, the Suns have tried to trade for several high-profile point guards this summer. Those include Portland’s Damian Lillard, Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, and Boston’s Terry Rozier.
Suns have definitely been trying to trade for a front tier point guard – Lillard, Walker, Rozier – but to no avail. Situation at point guard now is not ideal and Phoenix will have to make a trade but Milwaukee pick that they own is not that valuable.
Obviously, nothing came of any of this. It’s an indication that the Suns are trying to be aggressive and are well aware of their need for a point guard, but they simply don’t have the assets — at least, not ones they’re willing to give up. Instead, they’ve made moves like this one to reset the organization.
The 2017-18 NBA season featured breakout performances from a number of talented young players: Victor Oladipo, Devin Booker, Fred VanVleet, and Jamal Murray, among others. Though at this point most attention is (understandably) focused on the key stars and title contenders for this coming season, we’re wondering which young players could go up a level in 2018-19.
Some of the following players just haven’t found the right fit. Others have stayed with one team, gradually improved, and seem poised to really emerge this season. Here are 10 breakout candidates we’ll be keeping an eye on.
10. Doug McDermott, Indiana Pacers
McDermott has bounced around since the Denver Nuggets selected the Creighton star No. 11 in the 2014 draft. He’s now on his fifth NBA team. McDermott’s shooting has never been an issue, but it became a major asset last season; after joining Dallas, he hit nearly 50 percent (!) of his outside attempts. His defense has gradually improved throughout his career, and he’s no longer a liability on that end. Indiana strikes me as the perfect fit for McBuckets. He should shine playing off of Victor Oladipo in Nate McMillan’s shooter-friendly system, much like Bojan Bogdanovic broke out last season.
We’re through two rounds of the NBA playoffs, and we’ve seen some outstanding performances across the league. Some of them come from the sources you would expect, while others have been more unlikely and surprising. Some didn’t even last that long, but were so impressive that they have earned the recognition.
Here are ten players who have stood out above the others during the NBA playoffs thus far.