Terry Rozier has exceeded expectations this season


We’re approaching the two-year anniversary of Terry Rozier signing his three-year, $56.7 million contract with the Charlotte Hornets. Although many people didn’t believe he was worthy of the large contract, Rozier promptly silenced all his doubters by carrying the Hornets throughout the 2020-21 regular season and potentially to the playoffs.

After four years of craving his opportunity with the Boston Celtics, Terry Rozier has finally evolved into the centerpiece of a young and rising team with the Charlotte Hornets.

Rozier understands and embraces the expectations that come with receiving a hefty contract like the one he did. In doing so, he only missed three games while averaging a team-high 20.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game this season. Rozier has proved that he’s grown as a player and has a better feel for the game. He is posting .452/.391/.819 shooting splits this year.

The Hornets believe Rozier is a great building piece on a team that needed some retooling. That said, Charlotte went shopping and acquired a former All-Star in veteran Gordon Hayward, and drafted point guard LaMelo Ball third overall, who is a favorite to win Rookie of the Year despite missing time this season.

With Rozier, Hayward, and Ball, the Hornets have the ability to equip three players on the court who can each score in multiple ways and facilitate plays for the team. Once Ball solidified himself as an elite playmaker, the floor opened up more for Rozier and took some of the pressure off of him at the same time.

In proving so, Rozier has connected on 218 shots from behind the arc this season, which ranks him fifth in the NBA. In fact, 47.7 percent of Rozier’s points have come from long range this season. He’s also dished out a career-high 280 assists, 82 steals, 26 blocks, and scored 40+ points in three games this season.

In 129 games with the Hornets, Rozier has proved that he can lead a team to the playoffs when he’s surrounded by high-level talent. After four years of craving his opportunity with the Boston Celtics, Rozier has finally evolved into the centerpiece of a young and rising team with the Hornets.

The Hornets are in the process of building a special team. With Ball and Hayward, along with PJ Washington and Miles Bridges, Charlotte has a great starting foundation to build upon for their future. To which, head coach James Borrego expects Rozier to lead, and that’s something he made clear when the team first acquired Rozier.

“I expect Terry to lead. And sometimes that is just his effort on the floor, how he comes to work every day. This is a kid who does work hard, and we need him to step up as a leader.” – James Borrego, via Steve Reed of Boston.com

Rozier becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2022 and is a player who the Hornets should try to retain as he’s been the best player on the team since he arrived in Charlotte. 

It’s worth mentioning that the Charlotte Hornets have landed in the play-in tournament for a chance to advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. This is a momentous and competitive team that should excel in the play-in tournament.

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