Mary Altaffer/Associated Press
Rozier went on ESPN’s First Take on Tuesday and revealed that he would look to move on if the Celtics brought back the same roster next season:
First Take @FirstTake
If the Celtics don’t make any roster changes this offseason, would @T_Rozzay3 want to keep playing in Boston?
Here’s his answer: https://t.co/3fJuaORoTN
“I might have to go. I might have to go,” Rozier said. “I put up with a lot this year, so you know, I said what I said after the season. I think we all know I’m not trying to step into that again.”
Boston was viewed as a preseason favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference as LeBron James moved west last offseason. After all, the Celtics were largely bringing back the same team that made it to the Eastern Conference Finals without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. With those two All-Stars healthy, they figured to be as talented as anyone in the East.
However, the team never seemed to hit its groove in 2018-19.
Boston went 49-33 this season, finishing fourth in the Eastern Conference. While it won its first five games of the postseason, sweeping the Indiana Pacers in the first round, the team’s season would come to a sudden end with four straight losses to the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round.
After the season wrapped up, Rozier raised some eyebrows with critical comments of the team.
“It was tough, dealing with all the talent we had, different guys wanted to be in the limelight, guys in the limelight, s–t like that,” Rozier revealed, per NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg. “It’s been a lot.”
He added, per The Athletic’s Jay King: “Because I’ve been dealing with some bulls–t. I feel like we all still had that one goal. It wasn’t easy on coach dealing with a lot of guys that want to be great trying to get theirs.”
Rozier also went on ESPN’s Get Up! on Tuesday and acknowledged that it was “very difficult” for him to accept a reduced role as a healthy Irving returned to the court this season:
When Irving was sidelined during the 2018 playoffs, Rozier played a key role in Boston’s success. He averaged 16.5 points, 5.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds while leading the Celtics to within one game of the NBA Finals.
Rozier averaged 9.0 points, 2.9 assists and 3.9 rebounds in 22.7 minutes per game this season. He averaged 6.4 points on 32.2 percent shooting during the postseason.
Brian Robb @BrianTRobb
Someone might want to show Terry Rozier his playoff stats (team-worst 32% FG, 23% 3-pt, third highest usage rate among regulars) before his next interview.
His latest comments drew a variety of reactions:
Jay King @ByJayKing
The way Terry Rozier has been talking on ESPN, it’s more clear than ever that the Celtics’ issues ran DEEP.
Kristine Leahy @KristineLeahy
How could anyone be mad at what @T_Rozzay3 is saying here? He wants to be the best and do the best… Celtics didn’t do that this year. If nothing changes, nothing changes! https://t.co/DmPxRTzIVk
Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Terry Rozier has made it pretty clear today he doesn’t want to be back with the Celtics, especially if they run back a lot of the same roster.
It’s understandable, but it’s not a great look to be this public about things. Just handle your business without all the statements.
Tom Westerholm @Tom_NBA
This is also a controversy with an easy solution: If Kyrie leaves, Terry is probably back and the team looks a lot different. If Kyrie stays, Terry is probably gone anyway.
While Rozier will have the opportunity to explore his market, the Celtics will have the right to match any offer sheet the restricted free agent signs.