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Report: Suns offered Celtics protected first-round pick for Terry Rozier

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

In need of a starting-caliber point guard, the Phoenix Suns pursued Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier before the NBA season.

Former general manager Ryan McDonough reportedly tried to trade for the 24-year-old point guard before he was fired nine days before the regular season.

Co-interim GM James Jones also reportedly wanted Rozier before signing veteran guard Jamal Crawford, according to John Gambadoro of 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported Monday that the Suns offered a protected first-round pick for Rozier, but Boston demanded the pick be unprotected.

The Suns could have offered their protected first-round pick or offered the Bucks’ pick. The pick was protected this year and picks through seventh overall of next year. If it is bumped to 2021, the pick would be unprotected.

Speculation about Kyrie Irving’s upcoming free agency has increased with the Celtics’ chemistry issues, and the team has gone 3-7 in its last 10 games. Rozier, Irving’s backup, is also in a contract year as a restricted free agent.

Rozier stepped up last season as a starter with Irving out for the playoffs in which Rozier averaged 16.5 points, 5.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds in 36.6 minutes — when his “Scary Terry” nickname emerged.

The Celtics’ front office decisions could depend on how the rest of the season goes for the team, which also could depend on Irving’s decision to stay in Boston or go elsewhere. Phoenix could sign Rozier this offseason, but the question is whether or not a new-look Suns front office will want to continue pursuing him and the end of this season.

The Suns acquired point guard Tyler Johnson at the deadline, who will be eligible for free agency in 2020. In just eight games, the 26-year-old undrafted guard out of Fresno State is averaging 9.8 points and 3.8 assists in 30.4 minutes per game.

Jones told 98.7 FM Arizona Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo last month that the Suns will continue to search for a point guard — the main focus for the team moving forward.

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