Magic Twitter seems to really, really want Terry Rozier.
It’s understandable. The Magic’s need for a long-term starting caliber point guard has been well-documented. And Rozier, a soon-to-be restricted free agent who shined while starting in the postseason, is growing frustrated with his minutes playing behind Kyrie Irving.
“It’s not the easiest,” Rozier said after getting just 15 minutes in the Celtics 93-90 loss to the Magic. “Me being a competitor, me being who I am, wake up every day and want to be the best I can be. Want to win and everything, it’s tough when I don’t get the minutes that I may want, like last night for example...Coach does not have the easiest job. He has the toughest job out of all of us. I can respect that. I control what I control. I still come in every day, bust my butt because I know it may be different on Thursday.”
Prior to the Magic’s win over the Celtics, we spoke to our friend Jeff Clark over at CelticsBlog to discuss the likelihood of a potential trade for the point guard.
But first, take a took at a sampling of fan tweets linking Rozier and the Magic....
Future Orlando Magic Starting Point Guard Terry Rozier is stuck behind Kyrie in a lesser role, coming off a career year, about to enter RFA next summer when Kyrie’s also up for a $30+M/yr Max deal.— beyond the RK (@beyondtheRK) October 17, 2018
Ainge spent $10+M/yr on PG Smart last year; Boston may allocate salary elsewhere. https://t.co/zpOK67smi4
mark my words either Kemba Walker or Terry Rozier will be in an Orlando Magic uniform next year.— Magic (2-2) (@PGentryMagicUK) October 19, 2018
Terry Rozier Is going to get a max deal from the Orlando magic after season ends book it— Kyrie Irving stan #freerondo (@therockparmar2) October 17, 2018
I've never wanted the Magic to trade for someone as bad as I want them to trade for Terry Rozier @OrlandoMagic let's make it happen— Jrob (@jrobinson_19) October 17, 2018
I look forward to Terry Rozier averaging 20 a game and an all star next year for the Orlando magic— Ryan Daly (@ryandaly14) October 17, 2018
The 24-year-old Rozier, who was drafted 16th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, started all 19 games for the injury-riddled Celtics during their run to the Eastern Conference Finals last season. He averaged 16.5 points, 5.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds in 36.6 minutes per game but shot just 40.6 percent from the field and 34.7 percent from three.
Come this summer, Rozier will have an opportunity to either accept a qualifying offer from the Celtics or sign an offer sheet with another team that the Celtics can match. The Celtics top priority, of course, will be dealing with Irving, who has a player option for $21.3 million and has pledged to re-sign with Boston. And the Celtics already committed to Marcus Smart long-term after the guard signed a four-year, $52 million deal in July.
So, would the Celtics trade Rozier before the deadline to get something for him rather than risk potentially losing him for nothing in free agency?
“I would say that the likelihood is pretty low,” Clark said. “As you can imagine, the Celtics are inclined to ‘go for it’ now with a potential championship run (if all goes according to plan). In fact, if things don’t go according to plan, having Rozier around is a proven backup plan. Despite Kyrie’s assurances that he’ll re-sign in the offseason, the Isaiah Thomas situation taught us never to count those proverbial chickens when they are still surrounded by egg shells.”
But in the event that the Celtics do consider trade options for Rozier, do the Magic have any pieces that might be of interest?
“If the Celtics did decide to move Rozier, the guess here is that they would be looking for some cap relief (to push out the repeater tax penalties), probably picking up a draft pick in the process,” Clark said. “Still, as I mentioned, I don’t know if the team would want to make that kind of move this year (even at the risk of ‘losing him for nothing’ in the offseason). If we’re looking at just at player-for-player deals, I’m not sure if there’s anyone on the Magic that makes sense for both sides without getting a third team involved.”
Given the Magic’s assets and the Celtics being over the luxury tax threshold, a deal would almost certainly have to center around the Magic’s first round pick. While that would give the Magic control of matching any offer Rozier receives over the summer to retain him long-term, Orlando could instead simply hold on to their pick and, if interested, pursue Rozier in July. With the contracts of Nikola Vucevic ($12.75 million) and Terrence Ross ($10.5 million), Orlando will have money to spend and, if they don’t address their point guard needs in the Draft, a spot to fill.
The question then becomes if Rozier’s skill set is a match for the Magic and if he is worth the money he may command. After the Celtics and Rozier failed to reach an extension with Rozier earlier this month, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe reported that “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.”
Most alarming for the Magic, a team that desperately needs to surround its young front court with not only a facilitator but floor-spacing shooters, would be Rozier’s career shooting percentages of 37.7 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from three (48.8 percent true shooting).
That will be a major red flag, if not a deal-breaker, for the Magic brass signing a check of that magnitude.
So let’s hear from you. Would Rozier be the answer for the Magic at point guard? Should the Magic trade for him? Attempt to sign him this summer? Neither??
Join the off-day debate below....