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Trending Hornets: Terry Rozier just keeps getting better

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From an advanced stats perspective, last season was the best of Rozier’s career.

Atlanta Hawks v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

The Trending Hornets series evaluates the career trajectories of Charlotte’s players based on two advanced stats - Player Efficiency Rating (PER) and Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) - as provided by Basketball Reference.

PER measures per-minute production standardized such as the league average is 15. A PER above 15 means a player contributed above league average. As a frame of reference, among this year’s PER leaders, the Top 20 players were 22.7 and higher, No. 21-40 ranged from 20.0 to 22.4, and No. 41-60 were 17.7 through 19.9.

VORP is a box score estimate of the points per 100 team possessions that a player contributed above a replacement level player. A VORP of 1.2 means the team was 1.2 points better off per 100 possessions with this player on the floor versus a league average player. Among this year’s VORP leaders, the Top 20 were 3.2 and higher, No. 21-40 ranged from 2.1 to 3.0, and No. 41-60 were 1.6 to 2.0.

This week we will look at the trajectory of Terry Rozier.

Career trend overview

Rozier was drafted No. 16 overall by the Celtics back in 2015 and spent four seasons in Boston. He began his career largely buried on the bench behind veteran guards like Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, and Marcus Smart. He averaged just eight minutes per game as a rookie and 17 MPG in his second season. Both his PER and his VORP were below league averages.

Terry made a “third year leap” in 2017-18 and averaged a respectable 11.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in 25.9 MPG in the regular season - resulting in a 15.1 PER and 2.1 VORP - before breaking out in the playoffs with his memorable “Scary Terry” campaign when he averaged 16.5 points over 19 playoff games. But his final season in Boston (2018-19) saw his advanced stats regress down to the “meh” level once again with a 12.9 PER and 0.8 VORP.

It was then the Hornets gave Rozier a 3-year, $56.7 million contract via a sign-and-trade with the Celtics.

Over his two seasons in Charlotte Terry’s advanced stats have been fine but not spectacular. This past season he recorded a career-high PER of 17.1 which ranked fourth among Hornets regular players. He also tied his career-high VORP of 2.1 which was the highest on the team.

What this means for the Hornets

The good news for Charlotte is Terry Rozier just posted the best season of his career from an advanced stats perspective. At 27 years old and with six NBA seasons under his belt, Rozier is smack dab in the middle of his prime.

He easily led the Hornets in VORP this year at 2.1, followed by LaMelo Ball at 1.4 and Gordon Hayward at 1.3.

Terry is coming off a season where he scored a career-high 20.4 points per game while posting a career-best 57.5% true shooting percentage. He was a much more efficient scorer this year because his two-point shooting percentage of 51.2% dwarfed his previous high of 43.6%.

Rozier’s career is clearly trending in the right direction and he is at the point of his career where the best is potentially yet to come. He will enter the 2021-22 season on the last year of his contract so he’ll not only be playing to help the Hornets make the playoffs, he’ll also be playing for his next big payday.

Terry Rozier had a solid season this past year. Don’t be surprised to see him trend up even further next season.