Former Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III suffered a knee injury during the Portland Trail Blazers game on November 5. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported even more bad news for Williams on November 6.
“Portland Trail Blazers center Robert Williams III will require right knee surgery, sources tell ESPN. Conversations with doctors and his agent are ongoing about the kind of procedure necessary for Williams and how long of a timeline will be needed for recovery,” Wojnarowski reported via his X account.
The Celtics traded Williams, along with Malcolm Brogdon and draft assets, for Jrue Holiday just before training camp started on October 1. Sadly, Williams being out indefinitely due to an injury is nothing new. The most games Williams has played in his NBA career is 61 during the 2021-22 season. Even then, that season ended with Williams playing on a torn meniscus. His choice to play on it led to him getting surgery before the 2022-23 season started.
Williams came into the NBA with a reputation for being injury-prone. Despite his talent, it’s clear why he fell to the Celtics in the 2018 NBA Draft and why they felt comfortable trading him for Holiday.
Robert Williams III & Marcus Smart Embrace
When the Trail Blazers played the Memphis Grizzlies played each other on November 3, the broadcast caught Williams hugging Marcus Smart in their first game playing against each other.
Smart and Williams played together from 2018 to 2023 before the Celtics traded both of them during the offseason. It’s clear from their embrace that Smart and Williams developed a strong rapport with one another in the half-decade they played together as teammates.
Considering how long some of the current Celtics played with their now-former teammates, it wouldn’t be too shocking if Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown do the same if and when they square off against Williams and Smart. Needless to say, it should be a better reaction than when Kevin Garnett reacted to Ray Allen tapping his shoulder after Allen joined the Miami Heat.
At least the two squashed their beef a decade later at Garnett’s number retirement ceremony.
Kristaps Porzingis Questionable Against Timberwolves
While the Celtics moved on from Robert Williams III, who was known for being injury-prone, they also acquired Kristaps Porzingis, another center who has suffered his fair share of injuries.
On the Celtics’ injury report for November 6, Porzingis was listed because of a right eye sty via their X account.
Luckily a sty is just bad luck period, instead of another leg injury. More importantly, this injury should not be a big deal long-term for him and the Celtics. However, the Celtics have played five games total in the 2023-24 season, with their sixth one on the way against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
While Williams’ latest injury proves why the Celtics cut ties with him, they will still have to deal with Porzingis’ injury issues hanging over their heads all season. Until Porzingis proves that he can stay healthy over the course of a full season, the Celtics will wince every time he makes any sort of play when he takes the floor.