Celtics

Celtics

The "cryptic tweet" drama has subsided, but Terry Rozier's future with the Boston Celtics remains an open-ended question.

Rozier once again is backing up Kyrie Irving after a brief stint last season as the team's starting point guard. He has insisted he's fine with the role and just wants to help the team win, but how long will he keep that mindset? After all, the 24-year-old can become a resticted free agent next summer if he declines his player option, and he likely could play more minutes on a team with a less crowded backcourt.

Rozier addressed this issue Tuesday during an appearance on Rick Pitino's podcast, "The Pitino Press." Think what you will about Pitino, but the former Louisville coach worked with Rozier for two full seasons in college and got his former point guard to speak rather candidly about the balance between starting on a worse team and being a reserve on a winning club.

"I'm going into my fifth year after this, so I would love to start," Rozier told Pitino. "Nothing is wrong with being the sixth man coming off the bench, but I don't really look at myself as that. But that's not my main focus. Of course I want to win. I've been a winner all my life, coming through your program and then being with the Boston Celtics.

 

"I like winning. I don't know how I can adjust if I try to take a starting job somewhere but I'm playing for an awful team and we're not winning no more. It's just something that I don't think that I can adjust to -- being around people that's OK with just losing."

Those comments would suggest Rozier wants to stay in Boston long-term. But the former first-round pick also knows what he's worth -- and wants to maximize his value.

"At the same time, it's like, I still want to keep my options open," Rozier said. "I feel like I've seen a lot in these four years how much a business this is. I think I should get everything I deserve."

Rozier's mindset --which is totally valid, by the way -- could put the C's in a tricky spot. As long as Irving is in town, Rozier won't be a starter, but president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is a huge fan of the Louisville product and may decide to pay him anyway to keep him in town.

If Boston doesn't want to spend big on a backup point guard, though, Rozier may opt for compensation and opportunity over loyalty to the team that drafted him.

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