Report: Teams have called Celtics about Grant Williams’ availability originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Celtics reportedly are looking to add ahead of the NBA trade deadline, but would they give up a rotation player to get a deal done?
The Celtics have a solid eight-man core that has powered Boston to an NBA-best 37-16 record entering Monday, so you could make the case that Brad Stevens should just look to add on the margins while keeping that core intact.
But it appears other teams have shown interest in the one Celtics rotation player who isn’t under contract through next season.
“NBA executives say teams have made calls to Boston about Grant Williams,” The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported Sunday.
Williams and the Celtics couldn’t agree to terms on a contract extension prior to the 2022-23 season, meaning he’ll enter restricted free agency this offseason and present the C’s with a choice: offer him a long-term extension with a significant pay bump or let other teams give him offer sheets (that Boston could match) this summer.
Williams proved his value to the Celtics during their 2022 playoff run by playing excellent defense on star forwards Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo while hitting timely outside shots, including seven 3-pointers in Boston’s Game 7 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round.
The fourth-year forward has carried that offensive momentum into 2022-23, averaging a career-high 8.7 points per game while shooting 41.8 percent from 3-point range, good for third-best on the team. Williams has regressed a bit on the defensive end, however, with 1.7 defensive win shares this season compared to a career-high 2.6 last season.
Williams is an integral member of the Celtics’ locker room and a strong chemistry fit, so a trade involving Williams seems unlikely unless Boston finds a deal it loves.
But if Stevens covets a more expensive trade target like Utah’s Kelly Olynyk or San Antonio’s Jakob Poeltl, perhaps Williams and his $4.3 million salary at least would get mentioned in trade discussions.