According to Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro, who also reported back in August that the Suns were trying their best to acquire one of Terry Rozier, Kemba Walker or Damian Lillard, interim general manager James Jones tried to trade for the man they call ‘Scary Terry’ over in Boston before signing Jamal Crawford.
Look the Suns would have LOVED to get Rozier and he is a difference maker - him alone in my opinion makes Suns 10 games better. He is a fantastic player. But he is very very unlikely to be traded. But trust me Ryan and James both tried for Rozier before agreeing to sign Jamal.— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) October 15, 2018
For Boston, who’s on the verge of making the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010, Rozier is a valuable cog off the bench. Rozier is expected to fill the role of 6th man this season backing up Kyrie Irving following his breakout performance in the playoffs where he averaged 16.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 1.3 steals while carrying shooting splits of 40.6/34.7/82.1. Through preseason play, Rozier has shined in an energizer role for the Celtics.
The thing is, with Kyrie Irving and possibly Kemba Walker staying put next summer, Rozier could be in line to be the highest paid point guard on the open market as a restricted free agent. Trading for Rozier before July would mean the Suns could acquire his rights, the ability to match any offer thrown his way. The thing is, if Rozier was traded for, I imagine the Suns would immediately sign him to a new long-term extension upon his arrival.
Again, the holdup is unless Boston is blown before February’s trade deadline, Rozier is going to stay in the Celtic green and white until their playoff run ends.
Rozier, who will be 25 by the time he’s able to sign elsewhere, fits right into the Suns’ timeline just from an age standpoint but also what they seem to be prioritizing next to Devin Booker. Not only does that point guard need to be a plus defender, but also shooter and facilitator. In the right role under Igor Kokoskov as the third or fourth option offensively behind Booker, Deandre Ayton and Josh Jackson, Rozier could thrive.
And compared to what others seem to think about Rozier, I’m higher on him than most. The easiest numbers I could point to are actually from Kemba Walker when he was coming off his third season as well. I’m going to present them from a per 100 possessions standpoint to equal out minutes discrepancies.
Rozier - 21.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.9 steals, 1.9 turnovers on 39.5/38.1/77.2 splits; 15.1 PER, 52 TS%, 17.5 AST%, 1.9 STL%, 20.4 USG%, 5.6 WS, 2.0 VORP; 49% on shots at rim, 36% on corner 3s
Walker - 25.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 1.7 steals, 3.4 turnovers on 39.3/33.3/83.7 splits; 16.8 PER, 49.9 TS%, 29.7 AST%, 1.7 STL%, 25.8 USG%, 5.1 WS, 2.4 VORP; 49% on shots at rim, 32% on corner 3s
I’ll let the community decipher those numbers, but in the right situation, Rozier has bigger upside than some fail to give him credit for. I don’t blame Phoenix being aggressive under McDonough and Jones to acquire him before he has the chance to hit free agency, but it might work out better for Phoenix since they would surrender no young pieces in the process.
Heading into the summer of 2019, the Suns are projected to have $40.4 million in cap space, if they decline Dragan Bender’s fourth-year team option and stretch the final year of Ryan Anderson’s contract. Another scenario would be attaching the future Bucks pick to Anderson, increasing their room up to $45.6 million. One more route Phoenix could go that really intrigued me once I crunched the numbers involved moving T.J. Warren, who by the way looked great in preseason. Moving off of Warren would bring their total up to $51.2 million. This matters because Phoenix could then offer Rozier a contract along the lines of 4 years, $70 million while still maintaining flexibility for a max slot.
As you can see, there are many different directions that could happen in order for them to wiggle in Rozier’s new starting salary with no issue. At this stage, I would guess the Suns are one of the most aggressive teams in pursuing Rozier once July 1 rolls around.
Either way, an interesting tidbit dropped off to us by Gambo as rumors persisted about a Rozier-Suns connection since his original report involving Damian Lillard and Walker back in August.
Should Terry Rozier be a top target for the Suns?
This poll is closed
Yes, he’s a great fit with the young core
No, too much risk involved here