It’s safe to say that Charlotte Hornets will be taking their newest free agent signing out for a spin right away.
Speaking with the media Tuesday, Hornets coach James Borrego said that he expects to play guard Terry Rozier roughly 34 minutes per game next season, per Rod Boone of The Athletic.
The 25-year-old Rozier, who signed a four-year, $58 million deal this summer with Charlotte, was a reserve during his four previous seasons with the Boston Celtics, leading to an average of less than 20 minutes per game for his career. The Hornets will need him to assume a large workload right away though after the departure of leading scorer and starting point guard Kemba Walker, who incidentally is now with the Celtics.
While it is fair to wonder how Rozier will respond to such a massive increase in his minutes, Borrego’s assertion is far from the strangest thing that the team has said about the former Louisville star in recent months.
- Terry Rozier
Charlotte Hornets GM Mitch Kupchak isn’t doing much to ease concerns about the big payday that he just gave to Terry Rozier.
Addressing reporters Saturday after the Hornets completed their free agent acquisition of Rozier, Kupchak made a rather bizarre comment about his new point guard, saying that he would have been a lottery pick in this year’s draft.
“We feel like if he was in the draft this year, Terry Rozier would have been a lottery pick.” – Mitch Kupchak
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) July 7, 2019
The problem here is that Rozier is a 25-year-old about to enter his fifth NBA season. With the team committing three years and $58 million to him to boot, Kupchak was promptly roasted on Twitter for the strange remark.
— (@LamarHeisman) July 7, 2019
Lol hornets would pay a lottery pick that just came out of college 58 million
— (@Lazerido) July 7, 2019
Just delete the franchise at this point
— Fredo #KnicksTape (@goknickstape) July 7, 2019
Is Mitch high? What does that even mean?
— All Pro LB Luke Kuechly (@EgoOfLuke) July 7, 2019
Terry Rozier is reportedly heading to the Charlotte Hornets on a three-year deal.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Rozier has agreed to sign a $58 million deal once free agency opens, and will be part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Boston Celtics.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 30, 2019
It’s unclear if this sign-and-trade deal will include the Brooklyn Nets, which is a scenario that the Celtics were reportedly interested in. According to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports, the primary point is to open up space to retain Al Horford while keeping their MLE.
Sources: The Boston Celtics are progressing towards a series of sign and trade deals to enable them to re-sign Al Horford, while also maintaining the full MLE.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) June 30, 2019
Rozier was leaving Boston as soon as Kemba Walker agreed to join the team. He has primarily been a reserve during his four years with the Celtics, but figures to play a bigger role on a Hornets team that will be rebuilding after Walker’s exit.
The Boston Celtics know they’ll be losing Kyrie Irving and getting Kemba Walker, but they’re reportedly interested in some extra maneuvering to help themselves in the free agent market.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Celtics are interested in a sign-and-trade that would send Irving to the Brooklyn Nets and Terry Rozier to the Charlotte Hornets. This would allow the Celtics to create a full mid-level exception to bring in another supporting free agent.
Sources: Boston's showing interest in a 3-team sign-and-trade w/ Kyrie Irving (Nets), Kemba Walker (Celtics) and Terry Rozier (Hornets). Boston wants to create a full MLE and would likely need to surrender at least a first-round pick to Nets. So far, talks are exploratory.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2019
This is why the Celtics have not yet renounced the rights to Rozier, a restricted free agent. Given that Rozier has interest elsewhere, he may not be happy about it, but with Boston still in control of his rights, there’s not a lot he can do. While not close, it’s a glimpse into the chatter going on behind the scenes to make all this roster shuffling work in an efficient way for everyone.
The machinations of NBA free agency continue, and Terry Rozier will be the latest to benefit.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the Boston Celtics will renounce their rights to Rozier, making him an unrestricted free agent. This move is being made to allow the Celtics to bring in Kemba Walker on a max contract.
Boston will renounce the rights to guard Terry Rozier – to open up a max slot for Kemba Walker – and he’ll become an unrestricted free agent, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 29, 2019
This is, by many accounts, what Rozier wanted. He has sought a bigger role and made no secret of the fact that he may have to leave Boston in order to get it. There appears to be some mutual interest with the New York Knicks, who would certainly be in position to give Rozier the role he wants.
Terry Rozier may not really want to be a Boston Celtic, but he’s going to remain one, at least for the moment.
According to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, the Celtics are likely to extend Rozier a qualifying offer to ensure that he remains under their control while they pursue bigger free agents. If they are able to land the likes of Kemba Walker, they’d likely renounce Rozier’s rights and allow him to become a free agent.
Expect the #Celtics to extend a qualifying offer to Terry Rozier as a means of insurance. If they get a commitment from Kemba Walker, they can renounce that offer and make Rozier a free agent.
— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) June 29, 2019
Rozier has made noise about leaving the Celtics, and he has interest from elsewhere in the league. As a restricted free agent, there’s nothing he can really do aside from hope that Boston finds an impact free agent, which would force the team to let him walk.
The New York Knicks are looking at the biggest free agents on the market, but there are other names that they may be willing to invest in.
According to Ian Begley of SNY, the Knicks are interested in restricted free agent Terry Rozier if the Boston Celtics rescind his rights.
The Celtics value Rozier, and can match any offer sheets, but his future is unclear with Boston facing a potentially difficult offseason. It’s also fair to say that the guard would prefer a change of scenery given some of his comments after the season ended.
Rozier, still only 25, averaged nine points per game in primarily a reserve role for Boston last season. He may be seeking out a more prominent role on a roster, and the Knicks would certainly be able to offer that as currently constructed.