By T.C. Etherton
The Celtics are currently in second place in the Eastern Conference, despite not having Gordon Hayward for the entire season, while other stars like Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, and Jaylen Brown all missing time with injuries. Through this adversity, other Celtics have had to step up, these include Jayson Tatum, who has been phenomenal throughout the season and has solidified himself as a rookie of the year candidate and a rising star. Aron Baynes and Marcus Morris have both provided solid minutes and have made big time plays to help win games. Greg Monroe has also shown to be a great mid season pick up and gives hustle off the bench... But none have really shown out this year, as much as Terry Rozier.
Let’s go back to 2015, when the Celtics secured the 16th pick in the draft and Danny Ainge turns a lot of heads when he picks a point guard from Louisville, Terry Rozier. But as Celtics fans, if there’s one thing we’ve learned, its Never. Doubt. Danny. Rozier had solid rookie and sophomore seasons, providing good minutes off the bench and showing that he can really play with the NBA’s best. But this season, Rozier has made a name for himself. He's currently averaging 11 points, 4.5 rebounds and just under 3 assists per contest coming off the bench, this is compared to last year when he averaged 5.5 points. Rozier also became the second player in NBA history to get a triple double in their first career start, in one of the few games he’s started.
But as this season comes to a close, the Celtics are going to the playoffs to compete for a championship, even as battered as they are. It's very clear, that a healthy Celtics team is the best team in East, and with LeBron’s intentions of returning to Cleveland being in question, that could become even more evident after this offseason. But something else happens this offseason, Rozier’s contract comes to close. This could be a huge factor in the Celtics championship capabilities, and Danny Ainge knows this too, as it was reported that when the Celtics were trying to acquire Paul George last offseason, the Pacers would only make the deal if Rozier was involved, Danny refused and neither budged, so the deal never happened. Other teams have taken notice of Rozier, and he could start for probably half of the teams in the league. So this offseason, the Celtics are gonna have to pay Rozier his money… or someone else will.