Terry Rozier, PG, Boston Celtics
This would be a weird signing for several reasons. First, players in Boston don’t play well outside of Boston. Second, Rozier really stood out in the 2018 playoffs but really didn’t this season. Third, he is expected to sign with Boston unless they retain the same group. (This is VERY unlikely)
What does Rozier do well… He plays both guard positions and brings a constant defensive intensity. This is pretty typical for a Boston Guard. Offensively he can play off ball and shoots 35% from 3 point line. Nothing stands out and that’s great for contract negotiations.
If Rozier does move from Boston, Dallas could be a legitimate fit for him. With Doncic having primary ball handling duties, Rozier can be the off ball point guard the Mavs should be inclined to use. Is he different than the point guards the Mavs want? Definitely, but is he the guard the Mavs need? Most definitely.
Here’s the issue… He played in Boston. Outside of a few players, players who play in Boston don’t have the same production when they play for another team. This could not have been more evident than when the Cavs traded Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder.
If the Mavs do elect to go Rozier, this may not be as big of an issue as it is for other teams. The Mavs are generally a good defensive team as Rick Carlisle emphasizes team defense. Rozier plays with a fire, something encouraging for an undersized guard.
In addition, the Mavs have had their fair share of players who’ve overachieved with the organization. Monta Ellis was a prime example of this as was Seth Curry. Rozier could find himself in a better role with the Mavs in an offense that caters to him.
His shooting percentages aren’t great. His shooting line of 38/35/78 is far from admirable but his shot distribution is noteworthy. He splits his shot attempts between 2’s and 3’s so evenly and his 2 point field goal percentage was higher when assisted by a teammate.
Rozier can work well with the Mavs at a smaller price tag. He won’t contribute like an All-Star but he should be better with more playing time. Filling positions of “need” with serviceable to give the team depth could help the team more than using all financial resources on one max contract player. After all, it’s worked once for the Mavs.
Next week, I will bring the last Mavs free agency article. The Mavs are now in a sticky situation without their first round pick so maximizing their free agent budget will be an interesting process as we head into July.