Boston Celtics point guard Terry Rozier is set to become available in the free agency market next July. As a restricted free agent, the Celtics only need to match offers from other NBA teams just to bring Rozier back to their roster. However, the Celtics’ main priority in the 2019 NBA free agency is re-signing Kyrie Irving. After giving Marcus Smart a four-year, $51.9 million contract last summer, the Celtics are unlikely to use a huge chunk of their salary cap space to sign another backup point guard.
If everything goes based on the Celtics’ plan, Rozier’s departure from Boston is inevitable. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, one of the NBA teams who is expected to express strong interest in acquiring Rozier next summer is the Phoenix Suns.
“Rozier will also be a restricted free agent, with Phoenix considered by league sources as a team likely to make a strong push for the point guard. The Suns offered a protected first-round pick for Rozier before the season, but Boston demanded an unprotected first, per league sources. Were Irving to leave, Rozier would be his logical replacement in the starting lineup.”
As O’Connor revealed, the Suns have been trying to acquire Terry Rozier from the Celtics since the 2018 NBA offseason. Phoenix and Boston had reportedly engaged in trade discussions, but it seems like the Celtics’ asking price for Rozier was too much for the Suns to give up. Though they are in dire need of a starting caliber point guard to pair with the face of the franchise, Devin Booker, the Suns didn’t think it will be wise for them to sacrifice an unprotected first-round pick for a player they could acquire in the 2019 NBA free agency without trading valuable assets.
Rozier will likely be an incredible addition to the Suns, giving them a starting-caliber point guard who fits the timeline of Devin Booker. Rozier’s statistics in the 2018-19 NBA season may not be very impressive, but during the Eastern Conference playoffs in 2018, he had proven his capability to excel when given enough playing time and a more significant role.
The Suns are one of few teams in the league who could give Terry Rozier a huge payday and a decent playing time. However, their potential acquisition of Rozier still depends on what will happen with the Celtics during the 2019 NBA free agency season. If they fail to re-sign Kyrie Irving, O’Connor opened up the possibility that the Celtics may consider re-signing Rozier and officially name him as their new starting point guard.