Celtics Predicted to Make $52 Million Move Amid Free Agency Rumors

Joe Mazzulla, Boston Celtics

Getty Head coach Joe Mazzulla of the Boston Celtics.

After an up-and-down fourth season with the Boston Celtics where he bounced in and out of head coach Joe Mazzulla‘s rotation, Grant Williams is heading toward restricted free agency.

Despite his troubles, however, Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes believes that the big man will wind up remaining in Beantown for the long haul, as he predicts Williams will net himself a lucrative four-year, $52 million payday.

“Grant Williams has made solid contributions to highly successful Boston Celtics teams during his four-year career, but he doesn’t carry an imminent-breakout profile. Limited athletically and effective mostly because of his brain and competitive nature, he would fit best on a team that could use him much as the Celtics do. That means spot starts during the year, and perhaps in certain matchups in the playoffs, but a role that ultimately tops out at about 25 minutes per game. A career 37.9 percent shooter from long range and a capable defender against bigger opponents, he brings real value—just not in a full-time starter role,” Hughes wrote.

Hughes would continue on suggesting that though Grant Williams’ skill set would be best suited for a team such as the Celtics, Brad Stevens and company could run into some competition when it comes to trying to re-sign the forward.

“That’s not to say rebuilders with cap space should ignore the 24-year-old, but it seems more likely offer sheets will come from teams that view Williams as a high-floor, low ceiling rotation player ready to mix it up in April and May. It wouldn’t be a surprise if someone exceeded the $12.2 million midlevel exception in an offer to Williams, which might be near the cutoff line for Boston to quickly match. Anything north of $15 million should make the Celtics sweat,” Hughes said.

Despite his inconsistent playing time, Grant Williams’ production in 2022-23 saw career highs in several statistical categories. Through 79 games played, the Celtics big posted averages of 8.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists while shooting 45.4% from the field and 39.5% from deep.

This type of productivity, coupled with his familiarity with Boston’s scheme has Hughes believing that Williams will likely staying in Beantown heading into 2023-24.

Jazz, Blazers Could Pursue Celtics Guard Payton Pritchard

Though Grant Williams is predicted to be staying with the Celtics long-term, fellow rookie-scale youngster Payton Pritchard is currently looking for an out from New England, as The Athletic’s Jay King reports that the guard hopes to be traded this summer.

Should Brad Stevens and company adhere to the 25-year-old’s demands and place him on the trade block, an anonymous Eastern Conference general manager told Heavy Sports NBA insider Sean Deveney that they believe the Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers could be two specific teams that wind up inquiring about his availability.

“Utah is the team that would stand out just because Danny (Ainge) loves him, he picked him. That would probably take (Danilo) Gallinari’s deal to make it work, because the Celtics would take back Kelly Olynyk, you’d have to think. They’d probably want a pick from Utah in that kind of deal and that is where things would get sticky—you’d probably need a third team to get that going. But the Jazz are definitely on the look for a young point guard and he’d be on their list. Portland is another one, especially if they make a move on (Damian) Lillard. A good shooter who can organize the team would be the right fit there, and the Blazers are looking to add that kind of player, a guy who can shoot and play either guard spot,” the executive told Deveney.

The GM would also note that while the Celtics could end up receiving inquiries from interested ball clubs regarding Payton Pritchard, they may be better off holding onto him for as long as possible, as it’s likely that his value on the market would increase over time.

“The way things have worked recently is you find that teams do not want to trade guys on their rookie contracts because you’re going to get more value by trading him after he gets that big contract bump. So they’re not going to be in a hurry to move him just to move him because they can do better by waiting,” the executive told Deveney.

Proposed Trade Lands Celtics Two-Way Wing

Despite having just won the 2023 NBA Sixth Man of the Year award, Bobby Krivitsky of Sports Illustrated suggests that Malcolm Brogdon’s stint with the Celtics may have run its course, and believes that trading him for Brooklyn Nets wing Dorian Finney-Smith could be a worthwhile move to make.

“The six-foot-seven hard-nosed wing is a talented and versatile defender, meshing with the calls from Boston’s players to return to an identity where defense sets the table for its success,” Krivitsky wrote. “And while this isn’t to say the former Florida Gator lives above the rim, he’d bring more athleticism. He’d also allow the Celtics to play with three wings while keeping Tatum at the three, his best position.”

In the past, Finney-Smith has been tabbed by Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley as a “dream offseason trade target” for the Celtics to pursue, stating: “The 6’7”, 220-pounder is a tireless defender who can extinguish fiery scorers of nearly all sizes and play styles. He’s also a much better shooter than he showed this past season (33.7 percent, down from 38.9 the three seasons prior).”

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Joey Barron
Joey Barron
3 months ago

How to improve the Celtics and lower payroll:

Trade Jaylen Brown and Payton Pritchard to the Houston Rockets for C Alperen Sengun and the #4 overall pick. Brown and Pritchard get to play for Idoka, Houston has cap space to sign him to a max deal, and Celtics get a sizable and younger return with way more cap space. It’s win-win for both teams.

Sengun is only 20. Rebounds well. Shoots free throws 70%+ and passes extremely well.

Then use #4 overall pick to draft C Dereck Lively II, who is a monster defender to supplement. Lively is a Duke kid and should be an awesome sidekick for Tatum for the foreseeable future.

Then trade Kornet and the second round pick (#35) for SG Isaiah Joe with OKC. You gain another young three-ball threat AND free up more salary cap space. The Celtics had three of the top percentage three-ball shooters already (Horford, Brogden, and Hauser). They need to take high percentage shots, not just chuck up threes.

Extend Grant Williams with the freed up cap space because he’s a solid defender who can also shoot threes. Let Brogden take his time to rehab and heal.

Then give former UConn Captain Jeff Adrien a veteran minimum deal to create more buzz about the team (because everyone deserves a good redemption story and he is still tough and has developed an outside shot).