The Boston Celtics’ season is over, so now we’re approaching the height of rumor season as both the NBA Draft and the start of free agency. The New York Knicks figure to be in the middle of most rumors for a number of reasons including 1) Their team has not been good for multiple years in a row, so they’re looking for improvement, and 2) They figure to have a high-lottery draft pick while also commanding two max contract slots this summer.
We’ll have more clarity on that first part after tonight’s Draft Lottery event comes and goes where we’ll see where each team is picking, but free agency is a ways away. The Knicks notoriously have interest in pairing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant with their lottery pick, but if such lofty dreams don’t pan out, it appears that they have a different pairing in mind.
A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston reported that the Knicks
want all of the Celtics players are “keeping tabs on” Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris. As they say, if you can’t get a Kyrie Irving or a Kevin Durant, you just have to go for Rozier and Morris.
While Irving, Morris and Durant are set to be unrestricted agents if they opt out of their player options next month, Rozier is a restricted free agent, giving the Celtics the option to match any contract offers that he may receive. The Celtics’ last restricted free agent was Marcus Smart last summer, and he re-signed with the team for 4 years and $52 million without signing an offer sheet with any other team.
Rozier had a turbulent year as he adjusted from a solid playoff run as the starting guard to a bench player only chipping in 15 minutes in crucial games down the stretch of the season. He, along with other interested teams, may feel that his lack of production this season is due only to a reduced role, which may increase their interest in giving him a starting spot and 30ish minutes per game.
Blakely reports that the Knicks might be interested in trading the #1 pick, should they land it, for Anthony Davis to pair him with Kevin Durant. Should that plan succeed, they’d no longer have money for Irving, but Terry Rozier might be right there for the picking. Rozier turned down an extension last October for $12 million a year, so it’ll be interesting to see if that’s the ballpark of a deal that Rozier signs in less than two months. It’s also reported that the Knicks have been keeping tabs on Rozier for a while now, including at the 2019 Trade Deadline.
From Rozier’s perspective, I present this tweet from after the series-clinching loss without comment:
Safe to say Terry Rozier is ready to get out of Boston. When asked about the #Celtics having the right to match any offer to him this summer, he said: "No comment."— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) May 9, 2019
Should be a fun summer!