Hornets G Terry Rozier had himself a fine night at Madison Square Garden in what became a tough 103-102 loss for the Knicks on Saturday night. But there was a point in time, back in the offseason, where Rozier thought he would be part of the home team.
Rozier had the Knicks in mind during his search for a new team in free agency. He had proven his worth as the Celtics' sixth man, and was ready to get paid. New York certainly had the cap space, but they didn't shell out enough of it.
"It was probably one of my first options," Rozier told The Post's Marc Berman. "I probably was going to make it happen. Other things happened and I ended up going to Charlotte. It was the interest they showed in me, that was big. The organization believed in me, why not."
Charlotte simply outbid the Knicks, raising the stakes at three years, $58 million which Rozier eventually agreed to. It's unknown exactly what team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry offered Rozier.
So, instead of Rozier, Elfrid Payton was signed to join Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina as the team's point guards. It was one of Mills and Perry's team-friendly deals at two years, $15 million with a club option for the 2020-21 season. And while Payton was playing well to start the season, he's been sidelined with a hamstring injury since the fourth game.
Rozier may have badly wanted to be one of the new faces of the Knicks, but with a 6-7 record in Charlotte compared to New York's 3-10 mark, maybe it was the better bet for this season. In his largest role to date in his career, Rozier is making the best of it with 16.9 points, four rebounds and 4.7 assists averaged over 32.2 minutes per game thus far.