Rival Execs Cast Doubt on Grant Williams’ Future With Celtics

Grant Williams

Getty Grant Williams #12 of the Boston Celtics.

Grant Williams is up for a contract extension this summer. The Boston Celtics have the chance to extend his tenure with the team beyond when his rookie contract ends in 2023. How much they are willing to pay to keep Williams around, though, is anyone’s guess. Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report reported that executives around the league are skeptical that Williams will be paid any more than what they paid Robert Williams III when they extended him last summer.

(Keldon) Johnson’s deal with San Antonio may also set the table for extension conversations with Grant Williams in Boston, although it’s difficult to foresee the Celtics rewarding their third-year defensive stalwart with such a splashy amount.

Boston found a value deal with Robert Williams III just last August, extending the Celtics’ starting center for four years, $48 million plus incentives. Cap experts contacted by B/R projected that that salary range can set a benchmark for Grant Williams’ negotiations, but rival executives are skeptical that Boston will be willing to spend much greater a dollar amount on Grant than for Robert.

Johnson agreed to a four-year, $80 million extension with the Spurs on July 15, 2022. Williams was in the same draft class as Williams, being selected 29th overall in the 2019 NBA Draft, where Williams was selected 22nd. Johnson’s extension is noticeably steeper than the price Boston paid to extend Robert Williams III.

Grant Williams put up career-highs across the board in his third year with the Celtics and was consistently involved in Boston’s playoff rotation leading up to their NBA Finals matchup against the Golden State Warriors. Brad Stevens and the rest of Boston’s front office will have to decide how much someone like him is worth keeping around.

Williams Has Expressed His Desire to Stay in Boston

On July 11, Williams made it clear that he prefers to stay in Boston while talking to reporters during the 2022 NBA Las Vegas Summer League.

“I think both parties are hopefully mutually understanding that we want to get this thing done and make sure that we come together and have a successful next few years,” Williams said. “Because I love Boston, I love the fact that I not only get to be there and be around the team that I’m with, cause I have great relationships with the guys. But I also just love the city and being able to live there.”

However, Williams acknowledged that extension talks hadn’t started at the time but believed that they will when Stevens was ready to do so.

“(They) probably won’t start for a while,” Williams said. “We have a lot more things to accomplish, I feel like, as a team in (this) case. If not, whenever Brad’s comfortable, that’s when we’ll start.”

Williams Promised Boston Banner 18 His Rookie Year

Williams reflected on the past three years he’s spent in Boston in an article written by Jared Weiss of The Athletic on July 19. That even included Williams’ first day with the Celtics when he then met then-President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge for the first time.

According to Williams himself, he promised Ainge on that very day that he would help get the Celtics their 18th banner.

Williams, who had just been selected 22nd in the 2019 NBA Draft out of Tennessee, grinned with a naive yet assured optimism and simply told (Ainge), “I’m gonna get you that banner.”

“I knew from my life that’s the one goal that I had and it’s not even the MVPs or anything else, it was that Banner 18 for the Celtics franchise,” Williams says with conviction. “That’s something I feel like that we both understood with one another, that’s the number one goal. From the beginning, that was my way of cementing history with this franchise and my way of doing it with the team.”

Three years later, the team made their first NBA Finals since 2010 and came within two wins of winning their first title since 2008. Evidently, Williams wasn’t messing around when he made his intentions known upon first joining Boston.

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