The Celtics reportedly hope to keep their two best point guards in Boston for the long haul, but it’s become a near certainty that neither will sign the dotted line before the 2018-19 season kicks off.
In addition to Kyrie Irving, who’s publicly stated his intention to re-sign with Boston this summer, the Celtics reportedly have been engaged in contract extension talks with Terry Rozier. But according to The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach, the two sides probably won’t reach a deal prior to Monday’s deadline.
“According to one source, Rozier is determined to become a starting point guard in the NBA, and next summer will seek the minutes and money of a starter, perhaps in the $20 million-per-season range,” Himmelsbach writes. A source also told Himmelsbach that “it’s hard to envision a deal that would make sense for both sides.”
It makes sense for Rozier to pass on a contract extension at the moment. The 24-year-old boosted his stock in a big way last season in Irving’s absence, and he’ll have an opportunity to keep doing so in the upcoming campaign for a Celtics team that’s poised for an NBA Finals run.
It could end up being déjà vu for the Celtics in the upcoming offseason. Much like Marcus Smart this past summer, Rozier will become a restricted free agent at season’s end, meaning Boston will have the opportunity to match any deal the young guard receives on the open market. Although Smart reportedly received some level of interest around the league, the Celtics ultimately re-signed him to a four-year, $52 million deal in mid-July.
It sounds like Rozier will be looking for a similar payday when his time comes, but his wishes will be coming at an interesting time for the Green. Boston almost certainly will invest a max contract in Irving, while Al Horford also is eligible to opt out of his deal and become a free agent. Not to mention, it won’t be long before Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are commanding lucrative new deals, too.
The Celtics, most notably president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and head coach Brad Stevens, have expressed their desire to keep Rozier with the franchise for years to come, but if “Scary Terry” posts another strong season, another team likely will be willing to open up their wallet a bit wider for him.