Terry Rozier to the Charlotte Hornets
What’s the deal?
According to Shams, the Charlotte Hornets and Boston Celtics are completing a sign-&-trade agreement to swap point guards Terry Rozier and Kemba Walker. Rozier will ink a $58 million deal which will be spread out through three guaranteed years. Charlotte will also be sending over some form of compensation to Boston, as they could not have signed Rozier without their help.
What does Rozier bring to the team?
Has any player in recent memory had back-to-back seasons that were as tumultuous as Rozier’s? During the 2017-18 postseason Rozier found himself starting for the injured Kyrie Irving. His performance, where he averaged roughly 16/5/5 over 19 games, received tons of praise from both critics and casual fans alike.
Yet, Rozier struggled mightily this year. He could not buy into his role as a backup guard and chemistry issues leaked onto the court. The talent could still be recoverable, however. Consider his career numbers as a starter. In 30 starts he averaged 14.4/5.9/5.1 while hitting 39 percent of his triples.
At his best, Rozier could be a score-first guard (which isn’t a bad thing!) who shoots above league average from deep and plays hard-nose defense. At his worst he can be an inaccurate passer who fails to generate anything from the pick and roll while chucking up ill-advised shots.
What this move means for Charlotte?
Due to their cap situation, the Hornets had limited replacement options for Walker. So, they took a dice roll on a player with some upside left. Perhaps they are interested in playing a faster game with young, athletic players like Miles Bridges and Malik Monk. For all of his inabilities, such as lob-throwing and shot selection, Rozier is an elite rebounder at his size. Grabbing and going could be an option next year.
This move also signals a youth movement. After this season Bismack Biyombo, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marvin Williams all come off of the books. Hornets’ ownership seems to perpetually chase the playoffs but, they should do almost anything possible to get off of Nic Batum’s contract and enter cap-clearing tank mode. Regardless, expect Charlotte to do what they always do; pursue the 8th seed. Apparently, the brass down there thinks Rozier can help in that endeavor.
How would you grade this contract?
This contract deserves a D. Scary Terry did not frighten anyone last year. Yes, there is a chance the talent he flashed two seasons ago can be revived. But that certainly is not worth a $58 million gamble.
Take a sigh of relief, Hornets fans. As a Celtics fan, I can tell you that Rozier will not be good enough to transcend your team back into the playoffs. If anything, he may sabotage the team right into Cole Anthony or any of the other stud point guards of the 2020 draft. In the meantime, enjoy Rozier for what he is; an emotionally fluctuating player than can be a joy to watch when he is on is game.