With Kyrie Irving set to depart the Boston Celtics in free agency, all eyes turn to Terry Rozier.
The 25-year old guard voiced his displeasure about his role on the team last season while appearing on ESPN after the Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs. But with Irving gone, a Rozier reunion could be a possibility for Boston.
With Rozier ready to become a restricted free agent, Boston will have a chance to negotiate their own deal or match any offer sheet Rozier signs with another team.
Showing his ability as a starting point guard when Irving went down with injury in 2017, Rozier was talked about as an $18-20 million player per year. Smith doesn’t think that’s the case anymore.
“I’m not sold that’s going to happen,” Smith said. “Just kind of looking at the team’s with cap space and have needs, I think they might look a different direction at the point guard spot.”
However if a team did come with a large offer sheet, Ainge would be “comfortable” to let Rozier walk.
Yet with Irving ready to leave, there definitely is a possibility Rozier is brought back as the team’s starting point guard, as the Celtics have seen first hand what he’s capable of when starting. And with Al Horford reportedly set to leave in free agency, the Celtics have money to spend.
The Celtics could turn to teammate Marcus Smart’s contract, who inked a 4-year, $52 million extension last season. Perhaps a slightly more team friendly deal could have Ainge convinced in a reunion.
“I think then you look at it and say we’re going to bring you back because we’re going to run this thing forward with you,” Smith added. “And we’re fine with that, because we saw what you can be when you were a starter and you were more heavily involved in the game planning and all those things…”
With Rozier starting as Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward were sidelined with injuries in the 2018 playoffs, the Celtics made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals before losing in seven game to the LeBron James led Cavaliers.
Perhaps a new deal and a starting opportunity could bring back the Scary Terry we saw in those playoffs to the hardwood.