Last season, Terry Rozier was one of the players who stepped up when the Boston Celtics lost superstars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward to injury. Rozier, together with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, led the Celtics to the Eastern Conference finals where they forced a Game 7 against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the 19 postseason games he played as the Celtics’ starting point guard, the 24-year-old point guard averaged 16.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 1.3 steals on 40.6 percent shooting from the field and 34.7 percent from beyond the arc.
Terry Rozier’s performance in the 2017-18 NBA season proved that he’s ready for the starting role. Unfortunately, when Kyrie Irving returned from injury, Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens was left with no choice but to demote Rozier to the bench. Rozier has noticeably struggled in the Celtics’ second unit and admitted that the adjustments he made have been difficult.
Kyrie Irving understands what Terry Rozier is going through right now. Irving believes Rozier is a “starting guard” in the NBA and said seeing a talented player like him coming off the bench is not “normal.” However, the only thing Irving and his teammates can do is to support him and give him advice.
“I said it plenty of times, he’s a starting guard in our league and it’s a unique position for him to be in, to be playing behind me,” Irving said, via MassLive. “To have that much talent just sitting on the bench, it’s not something that’s normal. It’s not anything normal that he can be dealing with on a day-to-day basis but we try to support him as much as possible and as well, me, just trying to get him as much advice and knowledge as we move forward.”
— Tom Westerholm (@Tom_NBA) December 6, 2018
Since the 2018 NBA offseason, several NBA teams have already expressed interest in trading for Terry Rozier. However, the Celtics made it clear to the entire league that they have no intention of moving Rozier before the February NBA trade deadline. The Celtics see Rozier as an insurance if something bad happens again to Kyrie Irving during the 2018-19 NBA season.
Still, it seems like Rozier’s departure from Boston is inevitable. Rozier is set to become restricted free agent next July. Though the Celtics only need to match offers from other NBA teams just to bring him back, it remains a big question mark if they are willing to use a huge chunk of their salary cap space for a backup point guard. Once he hits the free agency market, Rozier is expected to sign with a team that can give him a starting role and a decent contract.