The Boston Celtics got their man in Kyrie Irving; now it’s time for the Phoenix Suns to get theirs. With the news coming out of Boston Thursday night that Irving plans to re-sign (per Celtics’ Official Twitter), many teams are now in search of a second option for 2019. While the New York Knicks are heartbroken, the Suns should be rejoicing with a chance to grab Terry Rozier.
With the Suns thin at the PG spot, some felt they had a legitimate chance to land Irving. But now, they may come out even better by making a trade for Rozier.
If you recall, last season while Irving was hobbled with an injury, it was Rozier who stepped into the spotlight and almost led the Celtics to the NBA Finals. While Irving was always slated to play the 2018-19 season with the Celtics, it was what the future held that had teams grasping at straws.
As good as the Celtics were with Kyrie Irving, they were just as, if not better without him and Rozier leading the way. With Irving at the helm, he became the team’s first option on offense while also trying to be the facilitator. It just wasn’t working. With Rozier at the helm, the Celtics never missed a beat.
While Rozier doesn’t have the scoring canny of Irving, he’s a much better floor general than Kyrie. His shoot second mentality allowed the NBA world to see how dangerous Jayson Tatum was. It also allowed more touches for Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and Al Horford.
This should have the Phoenix Suns on the phone with Celtics general manager Danny Ainge now.
Rozier is set to become a free agent as well in 2019 and with Irving coming back, Rozier has outplayed his role as a bench player. The Celtics will also have to take into consideration the Gordon Hayward effect. Hayward missed last season due to an injury so implementing Irving and Hayward into a lineup that was one series win away from the Finals will be no easy task.
With the Suns in search of a floor leader and the Celtics seemingly stacked at that position, why not make the call if you’re Phoenix general manager Ryan McDonough? The Celtics may ask for a second rounder in 2019 but Rozier will be well worth that. With the team recently going all in on Devin Booker ($158 million) and landing the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft (Deandre Ayton), the Suns are on the move. But they still need a glue that holds it all together.
In 2017-18, Rozier averaged 11.3 points, 2.3 assists, and 4.7 rebounds in 25.9 minutes per game while shooting .395 percent from the floor. But those stats don’t tell the whole story. It was the playoffs where Rozier made his claim to fame. When many counted the Celtics out after the Irving Injury, Rozier stepped up to the tune of 15.5 points and 5.7 assists per game.
Should The Phoenix Suns Make A Move On Terry Rozier?
While the numbers weren’t Kyrie Irving/All-Star like, his presence allowed others to make bigger contributions. The Phoenix Suns must take advantage of Irving and his selfishness. If the Suns can somehow convince Ainge to let Rozier go, they could be on their way to challenge the Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets, and New Orleans Pelicans for the 6th-8th seed in the Western Conference.
Terry Rozier is not as flashy as some of the bigger name PGs but he will add stability to a lineup in desperate need of some. Pairing him in the backcourt with Booker will give the Suns the firepower they were hoping for when they had Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight at one time.
Unlike Kyrie Irving, Rozier has no qualms about conceding the leadership role to another player. He wants to win and will do whatever it takes to accomplish that. The Suns will enter the 2018-19 season with a mixture of veteran and young bodies after the offseason additions of Trevor Ariza and Ryan Anderson to go with Josh Jackson and Booker.
The future looks bright in Phoenix but it could be a lot brighter with a trade for Terry Rozier.