Things have quieted down on the Jimmy Butler trade front despite the Minnesota star’s best efforts to ensure the Timberwolves’ brass understand how serious he still is about being dealt this season. Since the season started we’ve heard relatively little about teams’ pursuit of Butler, aside from the Rockets attempting to get him with a package including four first round picks.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania confirmed that package was indeed made available to Minnesota, with the injured duo of Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight as the players at the center, but the Wolves weren’t interested. With Butler talks still stalled, there aren’t many other marquee names that are on the market or even being whispered about, but the biggest one for now is Boston’s Terry Rozier.
Rozier hasn’t been as effective for Boston this year with Kyrie Irving reclaiming his starting role and most expect him to chase a starting job in free agency next summer. There have been rumors that the Suns were trying to get him prior to the start of the season, but Boston rebuffed offers in order to keep Rozier both as a quality bench point guard and as insurance for Irving.
With the Celtics’ going through some struggles to start the season, teams have once again checked back in with Danny Ainge, per Charania, in hopes that Rozier may come available if Boston were looking to make a change to its roster to position itself better for the postseason. According to Shams, “at least seven” teams have called Boston about Rozier this season, including the Suns, all of whom have been turned down still by Ainge who is apparently set, at least for now, to let this roster work out the kinks on their own.
That’s probably the wise move and as noted when the first Suns rumors popped up, there is value in keeping Rozier and simply letting him walk at the end of the year, because your window for contending is now and unless Boston sees an avenue to make a roster upgrade this season in a Rozier trade, there’s not much reason to deal him for future assets.
The question will be whether the Celtics’ struggles continue and they open up dialogue to look for such an upgrade, and what teams are out there in need of a point guard that can provide that immediate help. Phoenix doesn’t have many players, if any, that they would be willing to deal that would move the needle for Boston. Beyond that, Rozier’s $3 million salary makes it difficult to match money on an established player that would likely be more intriguing for the Celtics.