Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The Celtics already have two point guards committed to the team for next season but that isn’t stopping them from trying to lock up another valuable member of the team’s backcourt. A source told BostonSportsJournal.com that the Celtics have been engaged and “active” in extension negotiations with Terry Rozier ahead of the Oct. 15 rookie extension deadline.
Rozier is earning just over $3 million for 2018-19 in the final year of his rookie deal. He’s expected to command a contract over $15 million annually according to one league executive after delivering a breakout performance during Boston’s postseason run in 2019.
Terry Rozier might be the only current Celtic with a 100% approval rating among fans and teammates. If he’s content to stay in his role as Kyrie Irving’s backup, I doubt anybody would object to Danny Ainge keeping him around for a few more years. Some fans seem spooked by the impending luxury tax, while others shrug and remind us that the ownership group has deep enough pockets to sign half the league if it were allowed.
I’d be a little surprised if Rozier was dead set on Boston, given the fact that a repeat performance of last season could earn him a lot of money and a starting role on a competitive team. The Indiana Pacers, for example, will have over $30 million in cap space next season and are not the type of team to draw any top-tier free agents.
As much as I’d like Rozier to stay, I feel like it would be selfish to insist he do so. I doubt the Celtics will offer him the $15 million or more he’s worth per year, but maybe an overpay to keep him on the bench could be a win-win situation. Rozier gets his money, the Celtics create another tradeable contract, and the team keeps it’s core together. Rozier was one of the few bright spots of the Celtics preseason, which is an artificial bump to his value if anything. Still, the timing might just be right to earn him a nice paycheck before the extension deadline.
Related links: MassLive: Terry Rozier, Celtics ‘active’ in extension negotiations prior to deadline
On page 2, Kyrie Irving and the boys search for answers to their preseason struggles
“I wish I had an answer for why we can’t translate how hard we play in practice for the last week or so into the games, and have the same structure of what we’re working on,” Kyrie Irving said Tuesday afternoon.
On the same topic, Marcus Smart added, “This is one question I don’t know the answer to. I don’t know.”
“We got a lot of pats on the back for coming close (last season),” Stevens said Tuesday. “Unfortunately, I’ve been a part of teams like that before, and that doesn’t always help you at the start of the next season.”
“We’re asking a lot of our players to be basketball savants now rather than just basketball players, like, just going out there like you have nothing to lose, nothing to worry about, just go out there and play. Like, we’re not that team anymore,” he said. “We have to be a lot smarter, a lot more diligent in what we’re doing out there, a lot more communicative.”
If it’s any consolation, the Celtics are almost certainly the “say the right things” World Champions of the past couple of years. The mantra of Celtics Twitter has been to speak things into existence, and it seems the Celtics themselves are trying to follow suit.
Here’s what we know: the East will not be a walk in the park. Not because of who plays in the conference and who doesn’t, but because the Celtics have a target on their back for a narrative that was written for them – one that states they’re the clear favorites to represent the East in the Finals. Other teams destined to win 34 games are going to play for their lives against the Celtics before returning to mediocrity against other lottery-bound opponents. That’s how it works when you’re the media’s favorite child.
Related links: NBCSN Boston: Kyrie Irving talks Celtics struggles, wants teammates to be ‘basketball savants’
The rest of the links
Boston Herald: Different world: Celtics know they need to adjust