Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier has agreed to a four-year $97 million max contract extension to stay in ‘Buzz City,’ according to Shams Charania of the Athletic. The deal will take Rozier through the 2025-26 season.
Some may think that the move is an overpay or assume that it is because of the “max” terminology, but it’s not. For one, Charlotte is a small market and it’s not considered to be a top destination for free agents. If Charlotte was to let Rozier walk and not re-sign him, that’s an empty roster spot.
On the other hand, I can see how this move can be considered an overpay since the Hornets are notorious for this (see Batum, Nic). Also, in the interest of a comparison, Norman Powell is getting paid close to $18 million a year by the Portland Trailblazers who are not only a small market team, but a small market team over the salary cap.
Again, seeing this transaction as an overpay is understandable. But the issue is that some people are looking at the Hornets as if they are a team that’s constantly in playoff contention and can attract free agent talent. They are not, and it’s unfair to have those expectations. The Hornets have to overpay to attract the free agent talent they have and to maintain it, because they are a small market team that doesn’t have a culture of winning that warrants the attention of free agents.
As for the move to resign Rozier; this was a smart move, because he balled out for the Hornets last season. He gives the Hornets someone who can create and knock down shots and can be a stabilizing presence on offense. For a team as young as the Hornets, this re-signing is valuable in their quest for the playoffs next season.