Being drafted in the second round is less ideal than being taken in the first. There's less money, likely another rookie drafted ahead of you on your team that can only carry 15 players, etc. That's all obvious, but the fact of the matter remains that outside the lottery in the NBA Draft — and even inside of it — few things are guaranteed.
So since Terry Rozier seems to be slipping down mock drafts as of late — ESPN, SI and DraftExpress are a few that have him out of the first round — now's a good time to realize that it wouldn't be a bad thing for the former Cardinal. No matter where he's taken, Rozier will have to fit with the roster and be given opportunity. That's far more important for his longevity.
Before we get to that, there are still mock drafts out there that have Rozier being taken the first round, and an NBA executive who says he's guaranteed to be selected in the opening round. As is true with most professional drafts, the nobody-knows-what's-going-to-happen disclaimer is necessary here.
Anyway, let's take a look at the situations for the bottom five teams in the first round and the top five of the second. Keep in mind that Rozier almost universally projects as a point guard as a pro.
26. Spurs — Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green are all unrestricted free agents, so change could (probably won't yet, but could) be coming to San Antonio. The big issue here for Rozier is that Tony Parker and Patty Mills are under contract until 2018 and 2017, respectively, and if the Spurs like Cory Joseph (they might), he's a restricted free agent this offseason.
27. Lakers — This is certainly a potential destination, and the Lakers definitely have room and minutes up for grabs at the point guard spot. They're also a disaster that isn't guaranteed to get much better any time soon. Kobe Bryant will probably be done after this season, and being the Lakers, they're much more likely to spend on a point guard in free agency than rely heavily on a late first-round pick long term.
28. Celtics — Guards are one thing Boston probably feels good about as they look ahead after a promising season. They acquired Isaiah Thomas during the season, who provided an instant spark. On top of that, 2014 draftee Marcus Smart is still intriguing at the point, and fellow young guards Avery Bradley and James Young are also under contract for the foreseeable future.
29. Nets — Brooklyn is far from flawless, but it is still a bit bunched up at the point guard spot. Deron Williams is the starter, and likely will be for the next couple of seasons. Behind him is veteran Jarrett Jack, who won't become a free agent until 2017. Darius Morris is also on the roster — not that he'd necessarily beat out Rozier — but he's another hurdle to climb.
30. Warriors — Here, there's obviously MVP point guard Stephen Curry, and behind him is a rejuvenated Shaun Livingston. If Golden State wins a title this season, they likely won't be looking to change a whole lot as far as their rotation goes, and while Leandro Barbosa may be on his way out as an older unrestricted free agent, minutes could be scarce on a loaded Warriors roster.
31. Timberwolves — Ricky Rubio is on a big contract in Minnesota, but he has issues staying healthy, and while there's promising talent behind him at point guard — Zach LaVine comes to mind — nothing is set in stone for a team that still struggled mightily last season. This could be a spot where Rozier is given a chance to make a home for himself on a team that remains extremely young.
32. Rockets — Patrick Beverley is a restricted free agent that the Rockets will likely want to keep around, but behind him are aging guards Jason Terry and Pablo Prigioni. While Houston is a good bet to take a point guard earlier than this with its No. 18 pick, there's room here for Rozier to join a good team and have an opportunity to play.
33. Celtics — See above. The Celtics are more likely to pick forwards/big men with their two first round picks, and if they took Rozier here, he could face an uphill battle to make the roster.
34. Lakers — We already talked about L.A. too, but if the Lakers look elsewhere with their second first-rounder and Rozier is still available here, he fills a need and would be a good value.
35. Sixers — Philly has the third overall pick, where they'll all but certainly pick D'Angelo Russell, but like the Timberwolves, they're a pretty bad team. There's always room for intriguing talent on bad teams.
The bottom of the first round — where Rozier would likely go if selected in top 30 — has more teams with established rosters that would make it harder for him to break through.
After the Sixers pick at No. 35 overall, they have another pick at No. 37, while Minnesota picks again at No. 36 and the Pistons and Hornets follow at 38 and 39. Those are all bad teams that need answers and are more likely to have opportunity and room on their rosters. Sometimes, that's what non-first-rounders need more than being selected a few slots earlier.
Obviously, we're hoping for the highest possible pick for Rozier's sake, but his talent could get a chance to shine brighter if he finds himself on a roster that's more in flux.
Finally, there's still just under a month until the NBA Draft. Mock drafts could change three more times before June 25. Either way, don't be discouraged.