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Bulls free agency rumors: Terry Rozier on Chicago’s radar

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they like his “fearless play and hard-nosed defensive effort.”

NBA: Boston Celtics at Chicago Bulls Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret the Bulls are going to look for help at the point guard position this summer. John Paxson has stated on multiple occasions their desire to upgrade the position, and while he has also claimed the Bulls aren’t out on Kris Dunn, his other comments about the position seem to go against that.

Take this comment after the lottery, via The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry: “We feel that at the 2, 3, 4, 5 spots, we’re really solid.”

The Bulls will have their options at point guard, whether it’s in the draft, free agency or via trade. Apparently one option they have their eyes on in free agency is Celtics point guard Terry Rozier, per Mayberry:

Aside from Beverley, Boston guard Terry Rozier is on the Bulls’ radar, commanding Chicago’s attention with fearless play and hard-nosed defensive effort. Inside the Advocate Center, there is genuine belief that Rozier could be exactly who the team needs. Chicago could make a run at the restricted free agent this summer, but it’s unclear who holds the edge between Rozier and Beverley on the organization’s wish list. Rozier is six years younger, making him a more ideal fit with the current building blocks.

Rozier made a name for himself last season when he was filling in for an injured Kyrie Irving. The youngster had his share of big games and hit some big shots as the Celtics fell one game shy of the NBA Finals.

But with Irving back this season, Rozier went back to the bench and couldn’t find a groove. Boston infamously flamed out in the second round after a drama-filled regular season, and Rozier just tossed a ton of shade at Irving, Brad Stevens and the Celtics in general during a media blitz earlier this week. Rozier is a restricted free agent, so Boston can match any offer, but it sure seems like he’s trying to talk his way out of there. Perhaps Kyrie leaving could change his mind, but he said he wants to be a starter and effectively said he wants out if the Celtics run things back.

So, should the Bulls even want Rozier?

He plays hard and with swagger when he’s engaged (#ScaryTerry #dawg), and he has performed better as a starter compared to as a reserve. However, his career numbers simply aren’t impressive. He has never shot over 40% from the field in his career and is at 35.4% on 3-pointers for his career, though he was at a stellar 38.1% in 2017-18. He’s an okay playmaker who doesn’t turn the ball over much, but he has never been a prolific assist man.

Even when you look at that playoff run he had, he averaged 16.5 points, 5.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 40.6% from the field and 34.7% on 3-pointers. Fine numbers for a young point guard, but nothing that really blows you away.

Rozier and Dunn are literally one day apart in terms of age (both 25), so it’s not like Terry is some young pup with a lot more upside than Dunn. And when comparing their statistical profile, they’re not all that much different:

Rozier is a better and more willing shooter, but he’s streaky and not efficient overall either. Both players struggle getting to the free-throw line. Dunn is better in terms of assists but turns it over more. The Bulls point guard has an edge as a defensive playmaker, but he also took a step back on that end this season. Rozier’s advanced numbers do look better overall, but again, nothing special here for a 25-year-old with four years of experience.

I wouldn’t totally hate a prove-it deal for Rozier, but because he’s going to be a restricted free agent (unless the Celtics just bail on him and allow him to become unrestricted), an offer sheet has to be at least two years, not including option years. I’d be very hesitant to give Rozier a long-term deal based on his track record, and because it seems like he wants to be the man without having the bona fides to actually be the man. There also could be some competition for him that drives up the price.

One other thing to note here is Rozier’s agent is Aaron Turner, who has a small client list made up of a lot of Bulls or Windy City Bulls (Antonio Blakeney, JaKarr Sampson, Brandon Sampson, Kaiser Gates). Just something to keep in mind.