In the aftermath of Boston Celtics point guard Terry Rozier’s comments about not wanting to re-sign with the team if veteran stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward return to Boston, a new report suggests that the Chicago Bulls are interested in the 25-year-old backup playmaker ahead of the 2019 offseason.
On Thursday, The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry detailed the challenges the Bulls are facing in the weeks leading up to the offseason, as the team, despite having the fourth-worst record in the NBA in the 2018-19 season, ended up with the seventh pick in this year’s draft. As seen in the article’s free preview, Mayberry also mentioned Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson’s remarks about being “really solid” at every position but point guard.
With Chicago seemingly no longer sold on erstwhile starting point guard Kris Dunn, The Athletic’s Mayberry noted that Rozier “could be exactly who the team needs,” as cited by NBC Sports Boston. As pointed out, the former first-round draft pick out of Louisville has impressed the Bulls with his “fearless play and hard-nosed defensive effort” as Irving’s backup on the Celtics.
In his fourth year in the NBA, Rozier averaged nine points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in 22.7 minutes per game, starting 14 of the 79 games he appeared in during the 2018-19 season, according to his Basketball-Reference player page. However, he shot only 38.7 percent from the field and saw his stats and playing time decline compared to the 2017-18 campaign, when he filled in for an injured Irving toward the end of the regular season and during the playoffs.
— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) May 14, 2019
As further explained by NBC Sports Boston, the new report from The Athletic came two days after Rozier, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, unloaded on the Celtics in an interview, talking about the sacrifices he made as a second-string point guard and saying that he does not plan to return to Boston if Irving and Hayward are back for the 2019-20 season. This is despite the prevailing belief that Irving will opt out of the final year of his contract and sign with another team in the offseason, with the New York Knicks standing out as his most likely destination.
Although a move to the Bulls could give Terry Rozier a “fresh start” and a realistic shot at a starting job, NBC Sports Boston further cited The Athletic’s report, noting that Chicago is also considering signing Patrick Beverley of the Los Angeles Clippers as a free agent this summer. Furthermore, the Bulls may also have to decide whether Rozier is indeed worthy of starting ahead of Dunn, who averaged 11.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and six assists in an injury-marred 2018-19 campaign where he played in only 46 games.