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Celtics Rumors: Terry Rozier Won't Receive Contract Extension Prior to Deadline

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2018

Boston Celtics' Terry Rozier in action during Game 4 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Monday, May 7, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The Boston Celtics and point guard Terry Rozier are reportedly not expected to reach an agreement before Monday's deadline to sign players to a rookie-scale contract extension. 

On Friday, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe reported Rozier is focused on proving he can become a starter at the NBA level before signing a long-term deal. He's hopeful of landing a contract worth around $20 million per season next summer as a restricted free agent.

The 24-year-old University of Louisville product has spent most of his first three NBA seasons as a reserve for Boston. He's averaged 7.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting 35.5 percent from three-point range across 193 appearances (16 starts).

Rozier shined during last season's playoffs with Kyrie Irving sidelined after knee surgery. He put up 16.5 points, 5.7 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals as the full-time starter for 19 games. His average of 36.6 minutes in those contests was up nearly 11 minutes from the regular season (25.9 MPG).

Trying to translate that success into the new campaign could provide difficult because of the Celtics' backcourt depth. The 2015 first-round pick is set to battle with Irving, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown on the perimeter, which will likely limit his minutes again.

Tom Westerholm of MassLive noted Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said Thursday the organization has made it clear to Rozier they want him on the roster for a long time despite the contract uncertainty:

"I think it's very clear how all of us—players, coaches and front office, people in Boston, everybody you run into—how they feel about Terry. And it'd be great if we could have him here for a long, long, time. But I don't get into that with contract negotiations and discussions. But kind of like we talked with Marcus last summer, he knew very directly how I feel about it. And I think that he's a really good player, and I hope he's here for a long time."

His future is probably heavily dependent on how Irving decides to handle his own contract situation. He can utilize a player option to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2018-19 season.

If Boston's starting point guard decides to sign a lucrative long-term extension, it would prove difficult for the front office to keep Rozier if he's still seeking a deal in the neighborhood of $20 million annually.

Should Irving leave, however, the Celtics will have more financial flexibility to fit Rozier under the salary cap, while still seeking upgrades elsewhere on the roster next summer.

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