Kyrie Irving’s season-ending injury has given the Dallas Mavericks someone to target in the upcoming trade market across the NBA. That man is Terry Rozier.
Terry Rozier has arrived. After being drafted 16th overall out of Louisville in 2015, Rozier became the backup point guard behind Kyrie Irving. After Irving’s season-ending surgery that thrusted Rozier into the starting lineup, he promptly responded by becoming one of the go-to players for the Eastern Conference Cinderella story, the Boston Celtics.
Terry Rozier proved to be the second best player on the floor throughout the Milwaukee series. Giannis Antentokounmpo was unstoppable for all seven games, but Rozier managed to match his scoring output and carried the Celtics along with Al Horford to a first round victory.
Rozier was key to the success of the Celtics through the big win against the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2nd round, and has been an important piece against Cleveland as well.
Danny Ainge continues to prove that he’s the best executive in the NBA, but has a tough job ahead of him with Rozier. Irving is still the team’s clear-cut starter, and Rozier’s meteoric rise to stardom doesn’t warrant him coming off the bench.
The Mavericks should pounce on Rozier while he is still on the bench in Boston. He still has two seasons left under contract with the Celtics at an incredibly affordable price. The Mavs should pursue Rozier in a trade while he is cheap, rather than having to pony up expensive cash for a marquee free agent in two years.
The Mavericks could also take the opportunity to extend Rozier which is always the preferred situation to open free agency. The Mavs would have two years to accomplish that task, as well as two years to see how he plays with Dennis Smith Jr. before making a long term decision.
The Mavs have certain assets that the Celtics might enjoy acquiring. Nerlens Noel doesn’t seem like he will be returning to the Mavs as a free agent, but won’t be nearly as expensive as originally thought after his dismal 2017-2018 season that was dramatically reduced due to injury.
The Celtics have been on the search for a rim protector every year since they let Kevin Garnett out the door. Greg Monroe isn’t the long term answer, and Al Horford is best used as a help defender.
Dwight Powell is a similar type of player that the Celtics could be looking to add to bolster their big man depth. The Celtics clearly have a certain level of respect for Powell’s game already, considering they were the team that drafted him in the first place.
A backcourt of Rozier and Smith could be one of the league’s most dangerous offensive tandems. In the current small-ball era, the Mavericks would be better served finding off-ball scorers who can score with the best of them, like Rozier. There have been rumblings of the Mavs planning free agent pursuits of Aaron Gordon, Jabari Parker, and others, but a trade for Rozier might make the most sense for the Mavericks.