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Rick Pitino pushed Danny Ainge to draft Terry Rozier

Terry Rozier became a revelation for the Boston Celtics when superstar point guard Kyrie Irving missed the latter part of the 2017-18 season and the entire post-season due to a knee surgery. “Scary Terry” became a thing as he filled in nicely for their injured star as the Celtics made a surprisingly deep playoff run with Rozier starting at the point.

The Celtics drafted Rozier with the 16th overall pick in the 2015 draft. Apparently, his former college coach Rick Pitino said in his podcast, The Pitino Press, that he was the one who pushed Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to draft his former Louisville guard with that pick.

“He’s never seen anybody do it a second time,” Pitino said. “My response was, ‘Danny, look, if you can get him in the first round, you’re going to get a hell of a basketball player.’ He was intrigued by what he said was the work ethic you had.”

The former Cardinal has proved his worth to the Celtics, and showed why he deserves to be a big part of the rotation. Rozier initially didn’t play much during his rookie campaign, playing 39 games, and averaging just eight minutes per contest.

However, Rozier had a breakout season last year and further proved his worth in the 2018 playoffs, averaging 16.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 5.7 assists as Boston’s lead guard. With his performance, he proved that he is a starting caliber point guard in this league.

But with Kyrie Irving now back in the fold, Rozier is forced to once again come off the bench for Boston. In 22 minutes per game, Rozier is averaging just 8.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.0 assists this season so far, a far cry from his break-out playoffs average.

Nonetheless, Boston still has a starting-caliber guard coming off the bench for them, and he is still a huge part of what they want to achieve this year. However, Danny Ainge has a great dilemma on what to do with Rozier, as he is set to be a restricted free agent in the off-season.

Danny Ainge, Rick Pitino

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