Over the previous twelve months, Grant Williams has positioned himself to take over the mantle of ‘most divisive participant on the Boston Celtics roster,’ assuming a task Marcus Good has carried for nearly everything of his profession (though Jaylen Brown is clearly in that dialogue, too).
Usually seen as too small to play middle and too gradual to be an impactful ahead, Williams has his justifiable share of detractors. In addition, he’s performed himself no favors in how he’s developed into one of many largest referee antagonists within the NBA and any opponent prepared to have interaction him in a verbal battle.
For some, Williams is just speaking an excessive amount of, which is resulting in an absence of give attention to the basketball court docket. For others, Williams is just implementing all that he has realized from Draymond Inexperienced previously NBA Finals collection, which clearly holds a sure degree of worth.
No matter his willingness to voice each opinion, there’s no denying that Williams’ sport has improved and that he’s a greater basketball participant right now than he was throughout the playoffs final season.
All through final season, Williams clearly took a leap by way of taking pictures the rock from deep, particularly the corners, ending the season with a 41% conversion fee from past the arc, and a complete of 311 factors from 260 catch-and-shoot possession, per Instat’s monitoring information. Coming into this season, Williams was seen as a 3&D man whose defensive versatility supplied official upside, each as a starter and off the bench.
Nevertheless, the Tennessee native has put in some severe hours this previous low season and appears to have vastly improved a number of areas of his sport.
“Capturing on the transfer, that’s the large one. Not essentially like Duncan Robinson taking pictures on the transfer, however extra so pick-and-pop. Simply ensure that, just like the photographs that I’m gonna must make this upcoming season, as a result of groups are going to run me off, groups are going to be closely contesting, so, that’s one. Defensively, I wish to enhance on guarding actions, like screaming actions. Whether or not that’s off-ball or on. As a result of I do an ideal job in isolation, I wish to enhance, say, I’m guarding Steph [Curry] or Trae Younger coming off the display screen and be capable of negotiate and navigate these screens. After which the very last thing is my ending on the rim, whether or not that’s by way of floaters or contact photographs, you already know. The place, these in between photographs so if I’m not getting all the best way to the rim for a layup, having the ability to have that in my arsenal,” Williams advised CelticsBlog’s Jack Simone.
After all, Williams’ major enchancment has been his improvement in scoring off the dribble, whether or not that’s by way of floaters, post-ups, and even step-back jumpers — we’re seeing a far deeper offensive bag this season, and that’s preserving defenders sincere in how they attempt to guard him.
From the second Williams entered this previous summer season, it was clear there was an opportunity he must earn his subsequent contract – both with Boston or elsewhere within the league. As issues turned out, that’s precisely the state of affairs he discovered himself in, as reviews have said the Celtics drew a line within the sand at $12.5 million annual common worth.
“Throughout extension talks with Grant Williams, the Celtics by no means provided greater than $50 million assured over 4 years, league sources advised HoopsHype. As I beforehand reported on HoopsHype, Williams would’ve taken a deal for $14 million yearly. There are some across the league that consider a proposal round $18 million yearly might be an excessive amount of for Boston to match in restricted free company,” Micahel Scotto of HoopsHype reported on Novemeber 14.
Boston could have overplayed their hand there as a result of Williams is trying more and more cellular on offense and continues to be one of many crew’s higher positional defensive choices. A major instance of Williams’ enhancements is the regularity wherein he’s attacking off the bounce after faking a dribble hand-off on the perimeter, displaying his capabilities as each a bully driver and inside finisher.
Grant is getting SO good at these faux DHO & drive performs. Has actually improved his means to place the ball on the ground and bully drive. pic.twitter.com/ry7rpCZEdP
— Adam Taylor (@AdamTaylorNBA) December 5, 2022
Abruptly, Williams is way over a spot-up shooter and can ooze worth to a number of groups across the league who’re in search of a starting-caliber glue man with loads of playoff expertise. When trying across the league at groups who might probably have curiosity in Williams, I preserve coming again to the Detroit Pistons — a cap house crew who may gain advantage from a flexible ahead that may house the ground for Cade Cunningham and Isaiah Stewart when he’s rampaging downhill to the cup. After all, there will probably be different groups to indicate curiosity, each contending and rebuilding.
“There’s robust curiosity, so I believe there’s gonna be a market. After I discuss to groups across the league, I believe individuals are him as one thing in that 15 to 17 million greenback vary in an extension. He’s thriving proper now on this hybrid position. He’ll begin generally, and he’ll come off the bench more often than not. He’s capable of thrive as a spot-up shooter. So, it’s gonna be curious to see if he does find yourself leaving or if he will get an even bigger deal some other place. Clearly, that places him ready to start out, however the place would that go away him? Would he play higher? And I believe groups really feel like he might be extra impactful on the offensive finish doing a bit of bit extra than simply being a spot-up shooter. However, proper now, he’s filling an ideal position for them. He’s thriving in that line-up. And I believe, once you have a look at the cap house groups in the summertime, the Orlando’s, the OKC’s, the Indiana’s — these are all groups that you may plug a Grant Williams in,” The Athletic’s Shams Charania stated on a latest look of FanDuel TV.
It’s price remembering that Williams will probably be a restricted free agent, so Boston can have each alternative to match any provide sheet he could signal. Nevertheless, as we’ve seen all through the previous few months, the Celtics are a tax-paying crew, have already prolonged Al Horford, and can have already got an eye fixed on Jaylen Brown’s contract negotiations in 2024. Retaining Williams past this season is actually not a assure.
Whether or not his subsequent contract comes from Boston or one other crew across the league, it’s changing into more and more clear that Williams’ total enhancements and rising voice throughout the crew’s locker room are all pushing him towards a major contract. So, I believe it’s truthful, and justifiable to say that Williams is enjoying himself into an enormous payday subsequent summer season. The one query is, which crew will probably be footing the invoice?