No Trade for Frustrated Terry Rozier, Who’s Tying to Keeps Hornets Positive

Terry Rozier, Hornets

Getty Terry Rozier, Hornets

These are rough times for the Charlotte Hornets, a basic fact written all over the seven straight losses and worst-in-the-East 15-43 record they took into Monday night’s game against Atlanta.

But while you can read all that stuff on the NBA stats and standings pages, Terry Rozier is working hard to prevent his teammates from reading it on his face — or through his actions.

People around the club will tell you the 6-foot-1 guard is taking all this losing hard. The Hornets went into the 2022 summer having improved by 10 wins in consecutive years (the first two seasons were shortened some, but their winning percentage went from .354 in 2019-20 to .458 to .524 last year). However, Miles Bridges’ domestic violence charges pushed the club off course before it could get to the starting line, and a series of injuries has kept the Hornets from gaining consistency with what’s left.

Rozier, while averaging career-highs in points and assists, is trying to look beyond his own situation.

“It’s definitely been a tough season — for a lot of reasons. It can definitely get you down,” he told Heavy Sports. “But I’ve got to make sure I’m setting the right example. There’s a lot of young guys here, and they’re looking to the veterans. I can’t let the disappointment show.

“It’s easy at this point in the season, with all the injuries that we’ve had and the record what it is because of that, and All-Star break coming up, it’s easy to give in and have that look. But I’m trying to get better myself, too. That’s what I’m working on and striving towards every single day. We can’t control what’s already happened, but we can control what we do moving forward. I want to contribute to us getting better, and I want the guys to see that. Like I said, young guys look to the veterans, and it’s important for us to set the tone. That’s how it is, and that’s how I want it. I want to have the approach that we’ve all got to get better.”

A month shy of his 29th birthday with three years left on his contract after this, Rozier is aware that his continued presence in Charlotte is not certain. No one’s is.

“I know what I can control, and I know what I can’t control,” he said. “As long as I’m in between them lines, I’m fine no matter where I’m at. I just want us to get better. As long as I get to play ball, I’m fine. Other people handle that other stuff. I just want to focus on getting better and making us better here.”

Celtics Chasing Wings? Maybe Not

There is talk the Celtics may be looking to add a wing in the buyout market, but one league executive doesn’t understand why.

“They’ve already got plenty of guys for that,” he said. “Just look what they’ve been able to do lately with (Jaylen) Brown and (Marcus) Smart out, and Brogdon didn’t play Sunday. Derrick White has really stepped up, and (Sam) Hauser and (Payton) Pritchard are showing what they can do when they get the opportunity. Those guys are good in those roles. Hauser is fine when you get him shots, and Pritchard’s able to contribute even though he’s, what, the fourth point guard. He can push the ball, he can space the floor and he can get you points. And (Mike) Muscala gives them even more outside shooting. So I don’t know why Boston needs another wing, other than their bench can get pretty depleted. But is the guy they get going to play anyway?

“I’ve read where people are saying they need another wing so they can give (Jayson) Tatum more rest. Well, the solution to that is just play the guys they already have more.”

Raptors Remained Dead(line) Quiet

The Raptors took a shot by acquiring free agent-to-be Jakob Poeltl at the deadline, but they weren’t as active as some were anticipating.

“The whole Toronto situation is a little bit interesting,” said one general manager. “I felt like they’d do something, but, again, sometimes it makes more sense to wait until the summer when there’s more teams that can get involved. So I don’t really second-guess any of it. We’ll see how Poeltl works out, but they sort of pushed off their big decisions until the summer — which is probably the smarter way to go.”

According to this source, it will be interesting to see if the Raptors can keep Poeltl. But he doubts the big man would be valuable in sign-and-trade scenarios.

“They’re not going to get anything good for him,” he said. “No one’s going to give you a big asset and pay him $20 million or $15 million.

“He knows how to play a little bit. He just can’t shoot or finish down the stretch. He’s not a really good offensive player.”

Hefty Bulls Decisions Loom

Chicago was another team that seemed to put off its larger decisions.

“I know they wanted to move Coby White, but I’m not sure what the value is of the guys that they might be able to trade,” one league exec told Heavy. “And with Zach LaVine’s health issues, he doesn’t have as much value as you’d think. Then you have (DeMar) DeRozan’s age (33). I don’t know what they’re going to do.”

Then there’s Lonzo Ball’s knee injury that has kept him out all season.

“That’s killed them,” said the exec. “That’s killed them, for sure. He hasn’t been able to play for more than a year now. He was supposed to be the catalyst, and they were looking pretty good with him early last year.”


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