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Hornets signing Terry Rozier to four-year, $96M contract extension

Hornets guard Terry Rozier

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 18: Terry Rozier #3 of the Charlotte Hornets drives to the basket against the Indiana Pacers during the 2021 NBA Play-In Tournament on May 18, 2021 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by A.J. Mast/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Terry Rozier got his long-desired starting spot with the Hornets – and took advantage.

Now, he’s cashing in.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

“Max” is a vague term with different interpretations, but this isn’t close to a max contract as most people understand it. However, it is the largest extension Rozier can sign off his current sub-max deal (and rounded favorably).

Rozier’s highest-possible salaries on this extension:

  • 2022-23: $21,486,316
  • 2023-24: $23,205,221
  • 2024-25: $24,924,126
  • 2025-26: $26,643,031
  • Total: $96,258,694

The extension stands in stark contrast to the Celtics surrendering a pick to dump Kemba Walker. Rozier and Walker were signed-and-traded for each other in 2019, and – against all odds – Charlotte came out ahead.

Rozier has become a more-dynamic and more-efficient shooter, averaging 20.4 points per game last season. He can launch from deep, including off the dribble.

He’s not the point guard he dreamed of becoming, but the Hornets have really positioned him to succeed by playing him with other playmakers – LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward. Last season, Charlotte also had Devonte’ Graham. He’s getting replaced by Ish Smith, who’ll likely take a smaller role. So, Rozier might have more distributing responsibility.

Maybe Rozier can handle that. With his athleticism, maybe he could get to the rim more, though his finishing has been subpar when attacking too hard.

His next step should be retightening his defense. He slipped on that end while taking a larger load as a scorer. But Rozier was previously a dogged defender.

Charlotte is clearly betting on the 27-year-old putting more together over the next five seasons.