According to Brian Robb of the Boston Sports Journal, the Boston Celtics and Terry Rozier are “engaged and active” in contract extension talks but there’s no guarantee that a deal will be completed.
Here are the nuts and bolts from CelticsBlog’s Keith Smith:
The Celtics have less than a week to sign Terry Rozier to a Rookie Scale extension. Deadline is Monday 10/15 at 6:00 PM EST. If Rozier & Boston don't reach an agreement, they can make him a restricted free agent in July by issuing him a qualifying offer. An extension is unlikely.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) October 9, 2018
With Kyrie Irving’s impromptu announcement last week that he plans on re-signing with the Celtics next summer and Boston inking Marcus Smart to a 4-year, $52M contract last summer, retaining Rozier could blow up the bottom line, but it might be worth it if a mutually beneficial deal could be negotiated.
With less than a week before the October 15th deadline, it’s no surprise that Rozier’s reps and the Celtics’ front office remain engaged. Rozier is Danny Ainge incarnate. A scrappy guard brimming with self-confidence and bravado. As a starter last season, Rozier averaged 15.6 points and 5.1 assists per game in the regular season replacing the injured Irving and 16.5 points and 5.7 assists in the playoffs as Boston’s starting point guard.
During this pre-season, he’s been just as electric. While much of the team has slogged through games against the Hornets and Cavaliers, Rozier has used the short slate of games to showcase his skills and prove that last season wasn’t a fluke. He’s been diplomatic so far affirming that Kyrie is the team’s starting PG, but he’s not shy with his desire to play more minutes. Brad Stevens has said that it’s his job to find Rozier “as many minutes as possible.”
Unfortunately, the challenge for Boston’s brass is getting Rozier as much money as possible. With the looming threat of the repeater’s tax and rookie extensions to Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum in 2020 and 2021 respectively, Rozier could be squeezed out of the franchise’s future plans. Per BSJ’s Robb, Rozier is “expected to command a contract over $15 million annually according to one league executive after delivering a breakout performance during Boston’s postseason run in 2019.”
Agreeing to a rookie extension before October 15th and avoiding restricted free agency in July has its benefits. For Ainge, this is all about asset retention, particularly for a player as promising as Rozier. He rolled the dice on not extending Smart last year and waited for the free agency market to dry up before re-signing Smart. Rozier could be a different case. He’s a more traditional point guard and next summer will feature nearly a third of the league having ~$40M+ in cap space to spend. The Celtics could always match any offer in restricted free agency, but if Rozier is definitely in their plans, it would behoove them to hammer out an extension before it gets, well, scary next summer.
The CelticsBlog/CLNS Garden Report Crew Discussed Rozier - Kyrie: