While many eyes around the NBA might be monitoring Terry Rozier’s situation, the Boston Celtics should be in no rush to move their backup point guard unless a rival is willing to greatly overpay for his services.
Like many on Boston’s roster, Rozier is adjusting to a different role this season. After shining as a leading man while starting in place of Kyrie Irving during the Celtics’ improbable playoff run last year, Rozier has shuffled back to a reserve role where minutes haven’t always been plentiful.
If Rozier has been angered by the downturn in minutes, he’s done a good job of masking it publicly. Even after playing a season-low 15 minutes in Boston’s head-slapping loss to the Orlando Magic last month, Rozier suggested that coach Brad Stevens has the hardest job on the team balancing playing time for a deep roster.
Given Boston’s uneven play out of the gates, it’s not hard to see why there is already overcaffeinated speculation about Rozier’s future (but even November seems absurd for Celtics trade rumors). Rozier is too valuable to the Celtics, both now and further down the road, to make the sort of reactionary move that Danny Ainge has so frequently avoided during his tenure.
The Celtics hold Rozier and his potential in high regard and it’s part of the reason they didn’t rush to deal him this summer despite him using the playoffs as a coming-out party.
Even if Irving is completely healthy and fully committed to re-signing with the Celtics after the season, Rozier provides great insurance given Irving’s injury history. Plus, nothing is certain about Irving’s future until that new contract is officially inked.
While the Celtics most certainly have luxury tax concerns starting this season, the team seems in no rush to finalize the avenues by which it could dip below the tax before season’s end. Boston might very well end up moving a key rotation piece before February’s deadline in order to both alleviate a talent traffic jam and get below the tax, but that does not necessarily have to involve Rozier.