Celtics Rumors: Terry Rozier's Rights to Be Renounced Amid Kemba Walker Buzz

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2019

Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier during a break in action in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Saturday, March 30, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

The Boston Celtics will reportedly renounce the rights to point guard Terry Rozier and make him an unrestricted free agent when the NBA moratorium period opens Sunday at 6 p.m. ET, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday that the Celtics and Charlotte Hornets free-agent point guard Kemba Walker plan to finalize a four-year deal Sunday. Haynes mentioned that the Walker news has led to the Celtics renouncing Rozier's rights to open a max slot.

The news marks a full 180-degree turn after Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic reported the C's would extend a qualifying offer to Rozier earlier Saturday. An hour-plus later, Wojnarowski reported the Walker news.

Meanwhile, Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports noted PJ Dozier, Jonathan Gibson and R.J. Hunter won't receive qualifying offers from Boston, making them unrestricted free agents Sunday.

The Celtics are about to undergo a roster reconstruction over the summer after a season that began with NBA championship aspirations and ended with a second-round playoff exit to the Milwaukee Bucks.

In May, Rozier explained during an appearance on ESPN's Get Up (via Nick Schwartz of USA Today) what he felt went wrong to cause Boston to fall short of expectations.

"I think we all just felt good about it having practice, in our discussions, you know, film talk, but then every time we get in the game... I wouldn't say we weren't following the game plan, but it'd just be different," he said. "I think we just didn't, we didn't go through with our goals that we had."

From the outside, it seemed like the Celtics featured too much depth. They had so many players fighting for playing time that few players were able to carve out a consistent role, and it prevented the team from reaching its high-end potential.

Rozier also hinted toward that being a problem on Get Up last month:

"We had the first five, and then we had our second five. And then we go out there, I feel like a lot of guys would be mixed up. It wouldn't be the first five and second five. What we talked about in practice was not what we went through in the game. It was like 'alright, we're going to keep Kyrie out there, and we're going to put the other guys out there with him and we're going to figure it out.'"

Rozier averaged 9.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists while playing 22.7 minutes per game across 79 regular-season appearances (14 starts). He shot just 38.7 percent from the field.

With the Celtics reportedly welcoming Walker, it's unlikely the team's backup at the 1 would see his role change much next season in Boston.

Therefore, expect Rozier to head elsewhere, perhaps to the New York Knicks. Marc Berman of the New York Post connected the guard and team Friday, writing that Rozier would consider a short-term deal.