The Boston Celtics will undoubtedly be exploring any and all options ahead of the February 9 trade deadline. As teams begin to chase them in the standings, looking at pathways toward improvement will be crucial for Boston. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, teams around the league have shown an interest in trading for Grant Williams.
“NBA executives say teams have made calls to Boston about Grant Williams, who has underwhelmed on defense ahead of entering restricted free agency this summer,” O’Connor wrote.
Williams and the Celtics could not come to an agreement on a contract extension this past offseason, meaning he will be a restricted free agent this upcoming summer. While Boston will be able to match any offer that comes his way, there has been some speculation that he could get a huge offer.
According to sources who spoke to Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports back at the start of December, the Celtics should be “afraid” of a big offer.
“I would be afraid of a big, front-loaded offer for Williams,” an Eastern Conference executive told Deveney. “Something that tails downward. He does not want to leave Boston, and they don’t want to lose him, but if it comes to it and someone gives him a deal that starts at $20 million and descends from there, can the Celtics match that? Probably not. But is any team going to be willing to give Grant Williams that kind of money? Probably not. There will be teams that could, but the Celtics are going to match anything that is in the ballpark of $15 million or so per [year].”
Despite some recent struggles, Williams has put up solid numbers this year. He has appeared in 52 of the team’s 53 games this season and is playing 27.5 minutes per contest. Williams is averaging 8.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game on 47.7% shooting from the floor and 41.8% shooting from behind the three-point line.
Grant Williams Contract Demands Set
As for what Williams will be looking for on the open market, other sources who spoke to Deveney more recently revealed that he’ll aim to land a contract of around $18-$20 million per season.
“They undercut him on the extension, and they’re going to have to decide, how much is what he brings worth to them?” an Eastern Conference executive explained to Deveney. “But they got a pretty friendly deal for Al [Horford], right? So that leaves them some pretty significant room to keep Grant Williams, too. All he had to do, really, was to back up what he did last year, to show that the big spike he had in his shooting was not some fluke. He has done that. He is really tough on those corner 3s. His defense is there. He is a better playmaker. He wants something in the $18-20 million per year range, and he has to feel like he has earned that.”
Wyc Grousbeck Gives Brad Stevens Free Rein
Meanwhile, Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck revealed that he has given President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens free rein to spend as much as he needs to to improve the roster this season and give Boston their best shot at winning a championship.
“The conversation that I had with Brad is: It’s about this year,” Grousbeck said via NBC Sports Boston. “It’s not about this will pay dividends in three years, or this will do this next year…It is this year. Muscle up, and let’s go get the job done. That’s his instructions, and that’s what we’re going to try to do. If there’s anything to do, we’ll do it. If not, we love this team. We’re top of the league right now.”