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Hornets’ Terry Rozier initially thought he was going to sign with New York

Terry Rozier

Charlotte Hornets point guard Terry Rozier collected 16 points during Saturday’s victory over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. It was his first time playing at the Garden this season, but the way that Rozier tells it, he could have been more familiar with the New York fans had this past off-season played out a different way.

“For a second, I thought this was the place. I thought I was going to be a Knick,” Rozier said, via Stefan Bondy on the New York Daily News. “Obviously going through free agency it was kind of wild for me. But it’s just a process of it. I thought I was going to be here. But it didn’t happen that way.”

Instead, Rozier inked a three-year, $58 million deal to sign with the Hornets and become the new starting point guard in the wake of Kemba Walker’s departure — a circuitous turn of fate, as Walker signed with Rozier’s former team, the Boston Celtics.

New York instead opted to sign Elfrid Payton to join the group of Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina as the team’s point guards. The Knicks didn’t stop there, also choosing to sign veterans such as Julius Randle, Taj Gibson, Wayne Ellington and Bobby Portis to help fill the gaps on their roster made by their decision to fully buy into their youth movement.

“Just the interest they were showing, this was probably one of my first options that I was going to make happen,” Rozier said. He will return to the Garden again March 17.