Terry Rozier has gone from a no-name backup to one of the better players for the Celtics this postseason. Scary Terry has proven more than impressive this postseason filling in for the injured Kyrie Irving. On the way to a 2-0 lead over the Lebron James Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals, Rozier has become a fan favorite in Boston. However even though Rozier has been impressive it should not change the Celtics trade stance. Actually it should encourage Danny Ainge to trade him even more.
Smart or Rozier
Peak value would support a Rozier trade. Ainge could get another team to buy into Rozier as an elite starting point guard. The other major factor — Celtics cannot sign both Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier. One of them will have to go, and Smart just fits this Celtics team better than Rozier.
Rozier posts better offensive numbers than Smart, who can seem like a liability on the offensive end. Smart provides all the intangibles that a contending team needs to get over the hump, from his tenacity on the defensive end to his willingness to stand up for his teammates and do the dirty work. We witnessed this when he had no hesitation confronting Smith after he shoved Al Horford in mid air.
Smart is nowhere near the offensive player as Rozier, and may never be. But the Celtics have more than enough scoring on this team to make up for Smart’s deficiencies on the defensive end. If you look at it closely, Rozier poses a liability at the defensive end at points. Even his offensive advantage is minimized by his lack of size on the defensive side of the ball.
Yes, everyone loves an underdog story. Rozier went from never starting a game in his first two seasons to scoring a triple double his fast NBA start and followed that up by dropping 32 points in his second start. Ever since then, Rozier’s value has been skyrocketing to the point that a few delusional people are entertaining the thought of trading Kyrie and making Rozier the starting point guard. For some reason, whenever a player has a good stretch, he suddenly becomes untouchable. Look at the Celtics team from a few years ago: Bradley, Crowder, Thomas, Turner. When opinion held that the Celtics lost the Kyrie Irving trade, only a few months later it turns out Ainge fleeced the Cavs.
Ainge is a fantastic executive and very rarely makes a bad mistake. So I do not have much doubt that he will be able to capitalize on Rozier’s value. Maybe he could spin it to put Rozier at the center of a blockbuster trade. Fans should focus on Ainge getting something of value for Rozier. Do not get to attached and do not take the bait on Terry Rozier. A good player, yes. But as your starting point guard, your team won’t win a title.