I hated the Terry Rozier pick when it happened and honestly I'm still not sure if I like it. With that said, I've never had any problems with Rozier himself as a person or as a player. In fact, there's a very good chance that he'll become a very good player - maybe even for the Boston Celtics. My reaction was based on 3 primary things: projections, expectations, and fit.
The pre-draft projections were that Rozier was a 2nd round candidate. I would have been much more comfortable picking him with the 28th pick and getting a higher ranked player at 16, but according to reports, that wouldn't have happened.
When Ainge insisted he had to take Terry Rozier at No. 16 because another team was poised to draft the Louisville guard not long after, the choice was hammered. But the Celtics president of basketball operations was right. According to multiple league sources, Chicago was prepared to take Rozier at No. 22.
All's well that ends well because one of the guys I would have liked at 16 was available at 28 in R.J. Hunter.
The expectations I'll blame totally on Danny Ainge for getting my hopes up (I say this with some tongue in cheek but there's truth to it). He spent the days leading up to the draft getting me and the rest of the fanbase geeked up for a trade of some sort. The kind that consolidates some of our assets and turns into a star building block. It could have been Cousins or Justise Winslow or some other name we hadn't even heard of yet. But it was supposed to be big, then it didn't happen and that made the Rozier pick disappointing (which isn't Terry's fault in any way).
"Listen, I get it," said the 6-foot-1 guard. "I know the Boston fans are all about their basketball. They probably were looking for a big name that they had projected.
"But I would say that the fans will end up falling in love with me. I give 110 percent, and that's in practice and every game and everything. So I think those boos will turn around to be yeas. That's my goal. I know the people here are serious about their basketball, and I am, too. I think it will all turn out fine.
That's a great attitude and I do think that I'll enjoy watching Terry play. He's a tough, defensive-minded guy with great "burst" speed and (judging from summer league) he's apparently unafraid of taking big shots. I just don't know when we'll see him play and in what capacity. This is where fit comes in.
Arguably our two best players are point guards (Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas). If neither one is traded, Rozier is at best the 3rd best point on a team that may or may not make the playoffs in an improving Eastern Conference.
Still, it is hard to argue with the plan of going with the best player available and working out the pieces later. At some point, either a deal will present itself or Brad Stevens will have to find a way to make it all work (including some 2 point guard lineups and creative rotations).
Draft picks aren't ultimately judged within a month. They are judged years later.
"Some of the best draft picks that I’ve ever been associated with were ones that weren’t received well," Ainge said. "The first one that comes to mind was Steve Nash, when I was coaching Phoenix. People wanted us to take John Wallace from Syracuse. The fans went ballistic. It was just not well received at all."
Hopefully Danny and the brain-trust is right. Maybe this pick will turn out for the best. I'm certainly rooting for that to happen. Terry Rozier is a Celtic now and I'm going to root for him all the way.