GROTON — Terry Rozier knows the trade rumors are out there, and he doesn’t expect them to stop any time soon.
“It’s only going to get even crazier,” said the Boston Celtics guard. “Just got to try to control what you can control and try to focus on getting better all summer, getting wiser — thinking the game. I’m just ready to get it going, ready to start the season.”
NBA training camps begin in less than three weeks, and the Celtics open the season on Oct. 16 against the Philadelphia 76ers. So, Rozier won’t have to wait too much longer.
On Thursday, he was in Groton with Celtics legend and radio voice Cedric Maxwell as part of the final installment of the three-part Home Court Makeover program. The Celtics and Arbella Insurance teamed up to unveil a new basketball court at the home of the Plotkin family. Earlier in the week, the Celtics and Arbella teamed up to do the same for a family in Andover and a family in Kingston.
The 24-year-old Rozier had a breakout campaign in his third NBA season in 2017-18. He was particularly impressive during Boston’s playoff run to the Eastern Conference Finals, when he filled in as the starting point guard for the injured Kyrie Irving.
Rozier started all 19 playoff games and averaged 16.5 points, 5.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds. His performance and production proved to the rest of the league that he’s athletic, dynamic and talented enough to be a full-time starter in the NBA. Recently, the Phoenix Suns were reported as a team with significant interest in Rozier to fill their gaping need for a point guard.
“I’m just focused on winning, that’s all I’m really worried about,” said Rozier. “It’s great to see we have something special (in Boston), so we just got to try to go through with it.”
Irving is expected to be ready to go when training camp begins and the Celtics signed ball-handling guard Marcus Smart to a four-year deal earlier this summer. Rozier is set to be a restricted free agent next summer and the Celtics have until Oct. 15 to negotiate an extension with him.
Because of all of that, the rumors need to at least be acknowledged.
“Me and Danny (Ainge), our relationship is always the same,” Rozier said. “When I see him, it’s always talking a little mess and joking around, that’s all it is. There’s never a bad talk, never too serious. I know he does his job and everything, and I know he’s telling me to do my job, which is get in there, work hard and worry about what I need to worry about. He makes sure my head is on straight and I’m not really worried about the talk.
“Me being a basketball player, me being me, me connecting with everyone on the team — I know I’ll be fine. I’m happy Kyrie is back. It’s going to make it more fun, more challenging in practice and more stuff-talking. You’ve got to love it, man.”
Rozier said his confidence is “sky high.” He spent his offseason working on getting smarter as a basketball player and stronger. As a high-energy player with exceptional speed, he’s trying to balance that with making the right decisions on the court.
He was at the team facility on Wednesday and his excitement level for the upcoming season is through the roof.
“I’ve seen Gordon (Hayward), he’s looking great. We’ve all seen JT (Jayson Tatum) in there every day, Kyrie is always coming by. Everybody is ready to work,” Rozier said. “We’re all excited to get going. Everybody is coming in around this time, everybody is getting comfortable. This process is always fun, get up and down, play a little bit, get to see each other again. It’s a special time.”
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