NBA Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz for Terry Rozier, More After Jimmy Butler DealNovember 11, 2018
It's finally happened. After an early NBA season dominated by rumor and speculation surrounding the subject, the Minnesota Timberwolves finally pulled the trigger on a Jimmy Butler trade.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN, they sent the standout guard to the Philadelphia 76ers, who could have him in the lineup by Wednesday.
Butler has been the big name of the trade market, but it's not like the rumor mill is going to stop churning because he's been dealt. Teams looking to add talent will simply be turning their attention elsewhere.
One potential trade target whose name has come up in rumors is Boston Celtics point guard Terry Rozier. He is likely to remain a backup to Kyrie Irving for as long as Irving stays in Boston—and that will be a while if Irving has his way.
"It's being connected to an incredible, incredible culture that has existed way before me and will exist after me," Irving recently told Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. "I wanted to be part of that."
Rozier, who is averaging under 24 minutes per game, is a starting-caliber talent. He played extremely well in last year's postseason—averaging 16.5 points and 5.7 assists per game—and would likely be able to shine on a roster that doesn't include Irving.
According to Sam Amico of Amico Hoops, at least seven teams are interested in providing Rozier with that opportunity.
However, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge recently told 98.5's Toucher & Rich that no teams have called about Rozier (h/t NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg):
Unlike Butler, Rozier hasn't been trying to force his way to a new team, though he doesn't seem entirely thrilled about his role.
"I go from starting in the playoffs to coming off the bench," Rozier said, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com. "I'm pretty sure it's not easy for [anybody]. But I'm not complaining. And if you know me, I would never be the one to complain about it."
Perhaps if Rozier does start complaining the way Butler did, teams will start placing calls. Just don't expect the Miami Heat to be one of those teams unless the Celtics reach out first.
"We're not actively pursuing anything," Heat president Pat Riley explained, per Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. "We're listening. But you have to be part of what's going on in the conversation in the NBA, and there's a lot of hypotheticals from that standpoint.”
It's a little hard to take Riley's words as 100 percent truthful, as the Heat were actively pursuing Butler before he was sent to Philadelphia. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, Miami came close to completing a deal that included sending Josh Richardson and a protected first-round pick for Butler.
The Heat pulled Richardson out of the deal, and according to Wojnarowski, that's why Minnesota sent Butler to Philadelphia instead:
With Butler out of the picture, the Heat will have to weigh other options if they do reverse course and start actively seeking new additions. If Kemba Walker is of interest, though, Miami may be out of luck.
Walker is in the final year of his contract, but the Charlotte Hornets aren't interested in moving him, according to Charania.
Instead, the 6-6 Hornets are more interested in using Walker to push for a playoff spot.