The Boston Celtics surprised many people when they selected Louisville guard Terry Rozier with the 16th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Rozier was expected to go later in the first round, and Boston already had plenty of guards at the time. But Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge saw something in Rozier, and he steadily improved as a rookie last season with his scoring, rebounding, perimeter defense and energy.
Celtics All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas recently was asked by Dan Favale of Bleacher Report how the C’s would replace Evan Turner, who left to join the Portland Trail Blazers as a free agent this summer. It appears Thomas sees something in Rozier as well.
“Another guy, my guy, Terry Rozier, is going to surprise people,” Thomas said. “I think he’s ready to make an impact.”
Rozier isn’t likely to play small forward like Turner, but similar to the former No. 2 draft pick, the sophomore guard has plenty of experience as a primary ball-handler who can create offense in a variety of ways.
Rozier’s first-round playoff performance versus the Atlanta Hawks was an excellent ending to his first pro season, and it’ll give him something to build off of entering 2016-17. The Celtics need him — and several other young players — to take another step in his development to ensure they make a deeper playoff run.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images