Charlotte Hornets are going all-in on a Terry Rozier, LaMelo Ball backcourt

Charlotte Hornets Terry Rozier (Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports)
Charlotte Hornets Terry Rozier (Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Charlotte Hornets are all-in on Terry Rozier. 

Over the course of the last few seasons, the Charlotte Hornets have made some small – yet smart – moves that are beginning to pay dividends for the franchise. After punctuating such moves with the move to draft LaMelo Ball, who ended up winning the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award in 2020-21, the Hornets are on the verge of becoming a true playoff threat in the Eastern Conference.

Dating back to a few seasons ago, one of the Hornets’ first big gambles in their rebuilding process came in the way of acquiring Terry Rozier. Rozier was coming off a breakout performance in the playoffs for the Boston Celtics and the Hornets, unlike many other teams in the league, identified something in Rozier that had the potential to be special.

After agreeing to a sign-and-trade and taking on the gamble, the Hornets were paid off as over the past two seasons Rozier has become a key contributor on the offensive side of the ball.

The Charlotte Hornets have been vindicated in their move for Rozier

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Now, the Hornets are repaying Rozier for his productive play with the team in the way of a four-year, $97 million extension. Rozier is coming off the best season of his career thus far and it was clear from the jump that Ball taking the playmaking pressure off of Rozier has certainly helped his game.

Rozier has been able to fall back into a role that suits him best as a score-first guard. This past season with the Hornets, Rozier averaged 20 points, four rebounds, and four assists per game on 45 percent shooting from the field and 39 percent shooting from 3-point range.

The Hornets appear all-in on a Ball-Rozier backcourt and it’s hard to doubt them considering that they nearly made a true playoff push last season – and an argument could be made that if Ball doesn’t get injured, this team makes the playoffs.

Either way, Charlotte is absolutely on the right path as they look to return to relevancy in the East. And if Rozier can continue to play at the level that he’s played at during his first two seasons with the Hornets, and if Ball can continue to make strides in his development, there’s no question that this move to extend Rozier will end up paying even more dividends in the future.

Heading into next season, there will certainly be a bit more eyes on the Hornets than in years past. And while a big part of that is due to the attention and intrigue that Ball brings, some of that could also be attributed to the excellent play of the team’s second-best player (and the team’s leading scorer), Rozier.

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Now is not the time to fade the Hornets. In fact, you should actually be buying more stock in this franchise.