By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor
All the latest trade rumors regarding the Sixers are focused on chasing Chris Paul. Although this would not be a bad move for the Sixers, they need to keep their options open. There are multiple players the Sixers could potentially acquire for Al Horford in the right situation.
One name they should keep an eye on is Hornet’s guard Terry Rozier. With the emergence of Devnote Graham this season the Hornets might be willing to part ways with their key signing from last offseason. Now Rozier is no Chris Paul, but he could fill a lot of holes that the Sixers have right now.
Rozier is coming off a season for the Hornets where he averaged 18.0 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 4.1 APG. He also managed to shoot an impressive 40.7% from three on just under seven attempts a game. Also, at 26 years old Rozier fits the timeline of the Sixers’ core.
Adding a combo guard like Rozier is the kind of move the Sixers should be open to. He is the ideal prototype of point guard to be in the backcourt with Ben Simmons running the offense. Rozier can be a secondary ball-handler but mainly look to score as Simmons facilitates. His scoring abilities would make him a great partner for Ben Simmons in pick-and-roll play as well.
Switching on and off the ball is something that Rozier has done well this season sharing the backcourt with Graham in Charlotte. He also became a knockdown spot-up shooter, this past season Rozier shot 45.7% from deep on his catch and shoot attempts.
Taking on Rozier’s contract will take a bite out of the cap, but less to the extent of what Horford is owed. He is under contract for two more years, where he will receive 18.9 million in 2020-2021 and 17.9 million in 2021-2022.
We saw this year that the bright lights of the postseason hit some players harder than others. One thing Rozier does not lack is confidence and has stepped up when it mattered.
When given a chance to play a major role for Boston in the 2017-2018 playoffs he stepped up and never looked back. Over 19 games he averaged 16.5 PPG, 5.7 APG, 5.3 RPG, and 1.3 SPG playing 36 minutes a game.
The NBA draft will be a big tell if the Sixers will be able to pull off a deal like this. The Hornets currently hold the third pick, and if they draft James Wiseman it might make them reluctant to trade for a veteran big on a huge deal.
Trading for Rozier is far from a blockbuster deal, but it is one that could move the needle for the Sixers. His skill set is what they need and his fit in Philadelphia would be seamless. His softer cap hit would also give the front office more breathing room to fill out the bench. If the Sixers miss out on the Chris Paul sweepstakes, acquiring Rozier wouldn’t be a bad backup plan.