Terry Rozier
(Michael Dwyer/AP)

Is the Terry Rozier Extension Smart for the Hornets?

The Charlotte Hornets signed guard Terry Rozier to a four-year, $96 million contract extension earlier this week, originally reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic. Rozier led Charlotte in scoring last year, putting up 20.4 points per game on 51.2% shooting from the field and 38.9% from three-point range. It was one of the most efficient seasons of Rozier’s career. He also averaged 4.2 assists and 4.4 rebounds a game. Charlotte now has his services locked up for the next four years.

Why Did Charlotte Do This?

Was this a good move for them to make? It’s certainly a little puzzling when considering the season LaMelo Ball just put together and the subsequent decision to draft UConn guard James Bouknight in the lottery of the 2021 NBA Draft. Charlotte have their backcourt of the future already, so why would they make this move? Well for one, Bouknight isn’t a guaranteed hit, so they are hedging against that possibility. After Rozier’s career year, Charlotte don’t want to lose him for nothing if Bouknight doesn’t develop as planned.

Alternatively, Charlotte will likely know whether James Bouknight will develop within the four years of Rozier’s extension. If Bouknight pans out, Rozier’s contract becomes a useful trade chip to bring in a bigger name. In this context, the large extension makes a little more sense. The one disaster possibility is if Bouknight doesn’t become a good player and Rozier’s production falls off or he gets seriously injured. At that point, this would become one of the worst contracts in basketball.

This contract extension is a little bit of a gamble for Charlotte, but they are still positioned well for the future.

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