Terry Rozier showed this past spring he has what it takes to be a starting NBA point guard.
With Kyrie Irving injured during the final months of last season, Rozier helped lead the Boston Celtics to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, turning in numerous quality performances along the way.
He’s since been relegated back to his role as a reserve point guard, but with the 24-year-old set to hit free agency this offseason, he surely will have a number of suitors. The problem is, not all of them will be teams looking to win right away.
And for Rozier, who has gotten used to success both in college and the pros, playing on a team that actually cares about winning is pretty important.
During an appearance on Rick Pitino’s podcast, “The Pitino Press,” Rozier told his Louisville coach what factors will go into his looming free agency decision.
“I’m going into my fifth year after this, so I would love to start,” Rozier said. “Nothing is wrong with being the sixth man coming off the bench, but I don’t really look at myself as that. But that’s not my main focus. Of course I want to win. I’ve been a winner all my life, coming through your program and then being with the Boston Celtics.
“I like winning. I don’t know how I can adjust if I try to take a starting job somewhere but I’m playing for an awful team and we’re not winning no more. It’s just something that I don’t think that I can adjust to — being around people that’s OK with just losing.”
But like most everything else in life, part of his decision probably will come down to money. Rozier candidly acknowledged that he will look to get the paycheck he feels he’s earned.
“At the same time, it’s like, I still want to keep my options open,” Rozier said. “I feel like I’ve seen a lot in these four years how much a business this is. I think I should get everything I deserve.”
If Irving does indeed return to Boston as he said he plans to, Rozier’s role likely won’t change much if he were to re-sign with the Celtics — especially with Marcus Smart on a four-year deal that began this season.
So regardless of the move Rozier ultimately makes, he’ll have to weigh what’s most important to him once the summer hits.
Thumbnail photo via Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports Images