For many, Terry Rozier was an afterthought in the 2019 sign-and-trade deal that yielded the Boston Celtics their perceived franchise point guard Kemba Walker. Fast forward two years and that statement couldn’t be any further from the truth.
Walker’s time in Beantown has since fizzled out, as mounting injuries no longer warranted his price point. Instead, he now roams the backcourt for the C’s division rivals, the New York Knicks, on a $9.1 million per year salary. As for Rozier, the former Celtics reserve has blossomed into a max contract type of player in Charlotte, and the Hornets have since rewarded him as such.
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Rozier Gets Paid, Former Celtics Teammates Show Love
As first reported by The Athletic, Rozier has agreed to a four-year, $97 million max contract extension. The eye-popping numbers have certainly led to varying opinions across the internet and NBA landscape, from deeming the former No. 16 overall selection grossly overpaid to Celtics faithful punching the air in retrospect at the reminder of letting the guard slip away. No matter what side of the fence you may fall on in terms of Rozier’s contract, it’s clear that his former Celtics teammates sign off on the deal.
Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams all went out of their way to show love to what they perceive as a well-deserved payday for Scary Terry. Have a look:
Even Isaiah Thomas, who spent two seasons playing alongside Rozier in Boston, jumped in on the action.
Rozier’s Contract Places Him Among NBA’s Highest-Paid PGs
The move secures Charlotte one of the league’s more promising backcourt duos for the foreseeable future, with Rozier teaming up with reigning NBA Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball. The move also secures the bag for Rozier, whose average annual salary checks in at north of $24 million, placing him among the top-11 highest-paid point guards in basketball via Spotrac. The Louisville product is coming off a career season in 2020-21, where he served as a full-time starter and averaged a personal-best 20.4 points per game to go along with 4.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists. His 45.0% field-goal percentage also marked a new career-high.
Since arriving in Charlotte, Rozier has started all 132 regular-season games he’s appeared in. Quite the turnaround for a player who started just 30 of his 272 games with the Celtics and averaged a mere 7.7 points over his four seasons with the franchise.
Rozier’s deal comes just a few days after Marcus Smart’s $77.1 million contract extension with the Celtics. Smart is expected to head a Kemba Walker-less point guard unit alongside Payton Pritchard and the newly acquired Dennis Schroder. The new deal kicks off in 2022-23 with no player option and will net Smart $90-plus million through the 2025-2026 campaign, via ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Smart, 27, is coming off a career season offensively, where he notched career highs in points (13.1) and assist (5.7). Yet, while he’s predominantly served as a starter over the past three seasons in Boston, he’s never been called upon to control the lion’s share of the ball-handling duties as the team’s lead-guard. That will change this season.