Report: Celtics Won't Rescind Terry Rozier's Qualifying Offer Until Necessary

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2019

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 30:  Terry Rozier #12 of the Boston Celtics shoots a free-throw against the Milwaukee Bucks during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 30, 2019 at the Fiserv Forum Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images).
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The Boston Celtics reportedly aren't planning to immediately rescind their qualifying offer to point guard Terry Rozier, even if they reach an agreement with Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker when the NBA free-agent moratorium period opens Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.

Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports reported the Celtics won't renounce their restricted free agent rights on Rozier "until they have to" in order to maintain roster and financial flexibility.

The Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns have all "expressed interest" in Rozier, per Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe.

After a season spent behind Kyrie Irving on the Celtics' depth chart, the 25-year-old University of Louisville product spoke out about his role and his talent in a May interview with Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports.

"I don't give a f--k what nobody say, I sacrificed the most out of anybody," Rozier said. "I'm a top point guard in this league. I feel like it's a fresh start, whether I'm here or whether I'm gone."

The impending departure of Irving, who's been heavily linked to the Brooklyn Nets in recent weeks, briefly created an avenue for Rozier to take over as the team's starter at the point next season.

Instead, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday the Celtics are expected to finalize terms with Walker pretty much the moment free agency opens Sunday night, though contracts can't become official until July 6.

So if Rozier returned to Boston he'd be stuck in the same role he occupied this past season.

The more likely outcome remains the Celtics either rescinding the qualifying offer, which would make the Ohio native an unrestricted free agent, or simply letting the guard go through the summer as a restricted free agent and not match any offer sheet that comes his way.

Rozier, who's shot just 38 percent from the field across four NBA seasons, must become more efficient offensively to warrant a full-time starting job regardless of where he lands.