Heat Named Preferred Destination of $96 Million Guard: Report

Terry Rozier

Getty Terry Rozier of the Charlotte Hornets could be on the trade block.

Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier is having a career year on a bad team, which makes him an attractive trade target for many squads.

According to one NBA insider, he’s predominantly interested in playing for one, though: the Miami Heat.

“Terry Rozier’s strong play has made the combo guard a more viable trade candidate than ever at his $24 million average annual salary, with a known preference to join the Miami Heat,” Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports reported on January 17, also adding:

“The Hornets have indicated that they will be more active this deadline, with influence from new ownership, than how the front office has conducted business in previous transaction windows. Charlotte is said to have all players available outside of LaMelo Ball, Brandon Miller and Mark Williams.”

Terry Rozier to Heat Might Be Tricky Trade for Miami to Pull Off

The Hornets have an 9-31 record, sitting in 13th place in the Eastern Conference. Trading a player such as Rozier is a definite possibility, but Charlotte would likely not want to pick up a salary with the same heft as Rozier’s in the deal.

Rozier, who turns 30 years old in March, signed a four-year contract extension worth over $96 million in August of 2021. He has cap hits of $23.2 million this season, $25 million in 2024-2025 and $26.7 million in 2025-2026. Miami can afford it, but the Heat

Adding a third team willing to absorb that salary is one option, and it may be Miami’s best. Sending a player on a limited deal (Kyle Lowry is one example) coupled with a few young players and/or future draft picks is another. Lowry has a high salary this year (he’s due $29.7 million, per Spotrac), but the veteran point guard is set to be an unrestricted free agent once the season is over.

Players the Heat could include in a trade include Nikola Jovic and potentially Duncan Robinson, but they’d have to be coupled with a future pick or two (a 2028 and/or a 2030 first-rounder would likely be included).

One problem with moving Lowry is his lack of production this season. The veteran PG is averaging 8.4 points (that’s his lowest scoring average since the 2008-2009 season), in addition to 4.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 28.1 minutes. Few teams are going to want to pick up his contract for that stat line.

Still, there’s no doubt adding a player who can score and carry the team in that capacity in addition to Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo would be huge for the Heat.

Terry Rozier’s Numbers Are Comparable to Damian Lillard’s This Season

It’s yesterday’s news to talk about the Heat’s erstwhile interest in Milwaukee Bucks superstar Damian Lillard. It is interesting to take a side-by-side look at Lillard’s numbers this season compared to Rozier’s, though.

In 35.2 minutes per game this season, Dame is averaging 25.5 points, 6.9 assists and 4.3 rebounds. Lillard is shooting 43.1% from the field and 35.5% from 3-point range.

In 35.5 minutes a game this season, Rozier is putting up a career-high 23.6 points, also averaging career highs in assists (6.7) and field goal percentage (46.0). Rozier is also hauling in 4.0 boards per contest and shooting 36.7% from downtown.

Lillard is making $20 million more on the year, but it can be argued Rozier is a better player with contracts factored in, at least this season.

Rozier isn’t a facilitator — he’s a shooting guard first — but he could absolutely add a new dimension to Miami’s offense. It’s unlikely, but his reported interest in noteworthy nonetheless.

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