LAS VEGAS – Boston trading Avery Bradley to Detroit was part of the collateral damage the Celtics had to accept in order to get Gordon Hayward.
But there’s another silver lining for the Celtics – Terry Rozier.
Bradley’s departure likely means a more prominent role for Rozier who will be entering his third NBA season – all with the Celtics.
MORE ON THE BRADLEY TRADE:
- Thomas on Bradley trade: 'It hurt to have to see him go'
- Mannix: Bradley is the 'most underrated player in all of basketball'
- Five reasons why the Bradley trade is a win for Celtics
With trade rumors swirling all summer, Rozier admits it hasn’t been easy to not think about how different the Celtics will look this upcoming season.
“I’ve been trying to keep my mind off of that, and just try to stay in the gym but it’s tough,” said Rozier who was in attendance for Boston’s summer league game on Saturday against the Los Angeles Lakers. “Naturally you see things pop up, all the things happening around the league. It’s interesting.”
Especially for Rozier who is looking to build off a strong showing in the postseason.
His scoring average (5.6) in the playoffs was almost identical to what he did during the regular season (5.5), but he improved his shooting in the postseason to 40.7 percent compared to his regular season numbers (36.7 percent).
Rozier is well aware how the departure of his mentor, Bradley, has the potential for him to play more than the 17.1 minutes per game he played last season.
“I’m pretty sure I’ll have to step up and play more minutes,” Rozier said.
And Rozier’s success will in part be because of Bradley’s influence.
“I got to talk to him today,” Rozier said. “People don’t know, Avery’s like the president. It’s tough to get in contact with him.
Rozier added, “He was a guy I really looked up to. He helped me, not just with things on the court, but off the court like always telling me to save money. He’s just a great mentor, a great guy.”
When asked if Bradley imparted in last-second advice or wisdom, Rozier said Bradley told him that, ‘“we’re always going to be family no matter what, no matter same team or not.’”