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RUMOR: Some with Knicks don’t think Terry Rozier is a big drop-off from Kyrie Irving

Terry Rozier, Kyrie Irving

The New York Knicks and their fan base seemed to have plenty of reason for optimism after heading into the NBA Draft Lottery. Even after the Knicks slid to the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the prospect of having two max cap slots and selecting R.J. Barrett offered a tantalizing glimpse at a potentially bright future.

But things soured a bit after Kevin Durant–New York’s top target in free agency–ruptured his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Shortly after the conclusion of the Finals, rumors swirled that Kyrie Irving (another top target) could very well be headed to Brooklyn to play for the Nets.

And on Thursday morning, ESPN NBA Insider reported that the Boston Celtics would be the frontrunners for Kemba Walker if he failed to gain ground in talks with the Charlotte Hornets.

All of these scenarios have put New York in a rather tenuous position, one that might see them miss out on some of the biggest names in free agency.

However, the New York Post reports that many inside the Knicks organization are confident that another potential free agent target–Terry Rozier–would not be a large dropoff from players of Irving or Walker’s caliber:

Per Marc Berman’s article:

There are some in the organization who wouldn’t regard Rozier as too far a step down from Kyrie Irving because of his age — 25. Rozier, who went to Louisville, also knows Kentucky’s Kevin Knox.

Of course, Rozier has never made an All-Star team, and he is shooting below 40 percent from the field for his career. However, his performance in the 2017 playoffs–which Irving missed due to injury–appears to have a lingering effect on teams desiring a point guard for the future.

In reality, Rozier may be more of a stop-gap player in the case that the Knicks do miss out on all of their marquee targets, but they are attempting to evoke confidence as they embark on what is sure to be a testy summer.