Former Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III will have surgery on his knee, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that will put him out indefinitely. Following the news, MassLive’s Brian Robb explained why trading him and Malcolm Brogdon to the Portland Trail Blazers for Jrue Holiday was a “savvy move” by the Celtics’ front office.
“If the Celtics stood pat on the Holiday front back in September and watched the point guard go to another contender (Clippers?), Boston would be left in a miserable situation right now in the wake of Williams’ injury. One key trade and rotation asset would have vanished for the short term with his injury” Robb wrote in a November 8 story.
After all that went down in the offseason, Robb then explained why keeping Brogdon would not have been a good idea.
“Meanwhile, Malcolm Brogdon would still have been unhappy with the team in all likelihood in the wake of an early attempted trade to the Clippers back in June. For a team set on contending now, finding any meaningful in-season upgrades would have been daunting without emptying the team’s draft asset stash.”
Given Brogdon’s injury history, it would not surprise anyone if he, too, struggles with injuries in Portland. The Celtics were mostly fortunate that Williams and Brogdon were available in the playoffs, but it’s still risky.
Robert Williams May Need Season-Ending Surgery: Report
Following Wojnarowski’s initial report, The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Jared Weiss reported via Charania’s X account that Williams may get surgery that could make him miss the entire season.
“Portland Trail Blazers center Robert Williams III is facing potential season-ending surgery to repair bone and ligament damage due to right kneecap injury, sources tell me and
(Weiss). Williams and doctors could also choose cleanup procedure with 2-to-3 month timetable,” Charania wrote on November 6.
When Williams tore his meniscus in 2022, he opted to have surgery that allowed him to return in the postseason. The Celtics benefited from Williams’ presence, but his injury clearly limited what he could do. Williams may be better off getting season-ending surgery to better preserve himself going forward.
Since the Trail Blazers are rebuilding as a team, they do not need to rush him back. Hence, Williams can take all the time that he needs.
Ex-Celtic Malcolm Brogdon Also Hurt: Report
Much like Robert Williams III, Malcolm Brogdon came to the Trail Blazers with a reputation for being injury-prone. During the Trail Blazers game against the Sacramento Kings, Brogdon had to leave the game due to an injured hamstring, per Marc Spears.
There have been no updates on Brodgon since then, but it is more proof that the Celtics made the right call trading him and Williams. The Celtics gave up much of their depth when they acquired Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis. However, in Holiday’s case, Boston traded two players who were always health risks for him. Ironically, Holiday also has a track record of extensive injuries.
The difference between him and the two former injury-prone Celtics is that the last time Holiday played less than 60 games dates back to the 2014-15 season.