The Boston Celtics and reserve guard Terry Rozier reportedly will not come to an agreement on a contract extension prior to the October 15th deadline. Rozier is set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season. So, what’s next for Terry Rozier?
In the last few days, as news leaked out that the Boston Celtics and guard Terry Rozier were still talking a contract extension leading up to the October 15th deadline, Celtics fans became hopeful a deal could be struck at in the 23rd hour.
According to the Boston Globe, however, Rozier has no plans to sign an extension before the deadline:
The Celtics and point guard Terry Rozier will not come to an agreement on a contract extension prior to Monday’s deadline, two league sources told the Globe. According to one source, Rozier is determined to become a starting point guard in the NBA, and next summer will seek the minutes and money of a starter, perhaps in the $20 million-per-season range.
“There’s not going to be any extension,’’ the source said. “It’s hard to envision a deal that would make sense for both sides.’’
Of course, it was always unlikely that Boston GM Danny Ainge would ink Rozier to an extension give the team’s financial situation, and especially unlikely after Kyrie Irving expressed his intention to re-sign in Boston at the end of the season.
If Irving does as he says, and signs with Boston in the offseason, it will almost certainly be for the full maximum, meaning the Celtics will have three players making more than $30 million each next season (assuming Al Horford opts into his player option for 2019-20).
The projected salary cap is $109 million next season. With Marcus smart re-signing for four years and $52 million this summer, and Irving taking the max, Boston will have about $105 million tied up in four players, before account for team options on Jaylen Brown ($6,534,829) and Jayson Tatum ($7,830,000) which the Celtics will assuredly pay.
So Boston will almost certainly be well above the soft salary cap and paying the luxury tax over the next couple of years. Which means two things: Boston will not only have to pay Rozier a hefty salary to retain him, they’d have to pay a pricey tax as well; if the Celtics don’t re-sign Rozier, they’ll have only a minimum contract or a salary cap exception to sign someone to replace Rozier in the rotation on the offseason.
Given the salary situation, Ainge will definitely explore the trade market for Rozier prior to the February trade deadline. With the team eyeing a title this season, however, it will be tricky to trade Rozier and not hurt their chances of securing the trophy.
Because of Rozier’s small salary ($3,050,390) and restricted free agent status, it could be hard to find fair value, or someone who could help them against Toronto or Golden State, in return.
In last season’s playoffs, Rozier showed he doesn’t scare in the spotlight, hitting big shots and filling in admirably for Kyrie Irving in the starting lineup. He’s also another tough bastard you can throw at Steph Curry in the fires of the NBA Finals–and that’s something that needs to be carefully weighed and considered.