Terry Rozier and the Boston Celtics reportedly are not in a good place.
Rozier, with last season’s playoff heroics still fresh in mind, is unhappy with his playing time in Boston, The Ringer’s Bill Simmons reported Wednesday. Simmons added that word of Rozier’s discontent has “spread” across the NBA, and that teams know the Celtics “need” to trade the 24-year-old.
Now, Simmons isn’t exactly on the frontlines of NBA reporting, so it’s probably wise to take his words with a grain of salt. He’s also an unabashed Celtics fans, so his objectivity deserves questioning.
Nevertheless, Simmons floated some interesting trade scenarios involving Rozier.
For what it’s worth: The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Wednesday that the Phoenix Suns are among seven teams who have “monitored” the Rozier situation. He also noted that Phoenix has “aggressively” pursued a trade with Boston.
Rozier obviously has a right to be upset — if he really is. The Louisville product averaged 25.9 minutes and 11.3 points per game during the 2017-18 regular season, culminating with a breakout postseason that saw him average 16.5 points over 36.6 minutes.
Much of that, however, came with an injured Kyrie Irving out of the lineup.
This season, with Irving back in the fold, Rozier has seen his role reduced. Through 10 games, Rozier is averaging just 7.5 points in 22.7 minutes. He’s also watched Irving (deservedly) lead the offense during late-game scenarios.
Rozier is scheduled to become a restricted free agent this offseason. And with Marcus Smart signed longterm and Irving supposedly committed to re-signing with Boston, it stands to reason that Rozier will be the odd man out in the backcourt. So, it would make sense for the Celtics to trade him while they still can.
Of course, the possibility remains that Boston rides this out, electing to carry as much high-end talent as possible in a season many believe could result in an NBA Finals appearance. Is that a responsible management of assets? Maybe, maybe not.
In any event, the “Scary Terry” era at TD Garden might be entering its final days. Stay tuned.