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Celtics’ Terry Rozier on returning to back-up role: “I’m not worried about it”

Charlotte Hornets v Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 2: Terry Rozier #12 of the Boston Celtics dribbles against the Charlotte Hornets during the second half at TD Garden on October 2, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeat the Hornets 94-82. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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Terry Rozier’s season took a dramatic turn when Kyrie Irving needed to go under the knife — suddenly he was thrust into a starting role, rather than coming off the bench. He impressed in his new role, averaging 15.6, points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.1 assists as a starter during the season, then in the playoffs it went up again to 16.4 points per game and 5.7 assists, with a PER of 17.3. Rozier stepping up was a big reason Boston made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals.

When the season tips off in October, Kyrie Irving will be back as the starter and Rozier will be coming off the bench again. He said he’s good with that, according to Chris Forsberg of ESPN.

Rozier is entering the final year of his contract and he will get a healthy raise next summer from the $3 million he will make this season. Knowing he is playing for a contract, Rozier is going to say the right things — as he did here — and work to put up numbers this season. Last season he proved his value and rewarding the faith Danny Ainge had in him.

Boston faces a tough decision with Rozier going forward. There will be teams interested in him and the Celtics could trade him this season and sell high. However, they may want to keep him around if they aren’t 100 percent sure they can retain Irving in free agency next summer (there are rumors of him going to New York with Jimmy Butler, plus a host of other ones). With the team contending this season, Boston may want to keep Rozier in house, then hope they can keep the band together next summer.