Celtics Called Out for Potential Trade of Key Reserve

Grant Williams, Boston Celtics

Getty Grant Williams, Boston Celtics

With just four days to go until the February 10 trade deadline, the Boston Celtics find their name floating around the rumor mill once again.

However, this time, the Celtics are being urged not to make a trade. “The one thing I’ve heard that I don’t like is the possibility of moving Grant Williams, I think Grant Williams has had a really good year. He’s four inches too short but he’s the only guy who is hitting 3s for you. You better get a shooter back if you are going to trade Grant Williams,” Jackie MacMullan said on a recent episode of the Bill Simmons podcast.

The notion of Boston trading Grant Williams seems ludicrous; the third-year big man has been one of the team’s more consistent players this season and is arguably their best three-point shooter at present. So far this season, Williams is shooting 43% from three and 51% from the corners, while his rim finishing is also among the elite bigs in the NBA, with him converting 80% of his looks down low, per Cleaning The Glass.

Of course, Williams’ recent production is part of the reason why Boston is likely entertaining trade discussions centered around him. The Celtics are short on valuable assets, and their young big man has undoubtedly improved his standing around the NBA this season.

Williams is Having a Bounce Back Season

After an encouraging rookie season, Williams endured a torrid second year in the NBA. The “tweener” label became a weight around the young big’s neck, and his inability to hang with wings on the perimeter or bang with bigs down low left him on the outside of the rotation looking in.

Williams, who entered the NBA with a reputation as a low-post scorer, struggled to provide the Celtics with any efficient offense during his sophomore season, except for the occasional flurry from deep. However, after a summer of focusing on his weight and conditioning, the Tennessee alumn has bounced back, is now one of the Celtics core rotation players, and is fast becoming a fan favorite.

“My rookie year, I had to gain weight to play the 5. Then I never lost that weight. Now, I’ve lost 12-15 pounds. I’ve got another 8-10 to lose to be able to play the 4 more,” Williams said at media day before the season began, “At the end of the day, I’m going to play towards the role that I’m asked to play. Whatever that is, whatever the team needs, that’s what I’ll be.”

Head coach Ime Udoka has stuck with a “two-big” lineup this season and has been steadfast in his approach, and while it has caused some discussion amongst fans, Boston’s defense has been reaping the benefits. Luckily, with players like (Grant) Williams and Al Horford, the Celtics still have a shooting big-man on the floor at all times, which has ensured Boston’s offense remains passable despite the throw-back style rotation.

First Time Hearing William’s Name in Trade Discussions

The surprising part of MacMullan’s revelation is that this is the first time we’re hearing Williams’ name mentioned in trade discussions. Up to this point, the rumor mill has been incredibly consistent in naming who the Celtics are shopping in trade talks.

We’ve heard of Jaylen Brown as a potential makeweight for the Philadelphia 76ers, Ben Simmons, or Dennis Schroder for a handful of second-round picks. And recently, Josh Richardson’s name entered the fray, primarily due to his impressive performances of late, but also because he’s cost controlled for another year. Oh, and it wouldn’t be trade season if Marcus Smart’s name weren’t floated in a potential trade at least once a day.

Of course, most of the rumors thus far have focused on players the Celtics could be targeting. From Simmons to CJ McCollum, the list of potential candidates has been far-reaching, guards to centers, starters to role players, no stone has been left unturned.

However, with just four days remaining before the deadline passes, Boston is yet to make a notable move. Sure, they’ve moved on from Juancho Hernangomez and inched closer to getting under the luxury tax as a result, but even then, another trade is needed to achieve that goal fully. With the clock ticking down and targets getting taken off the board, we won’t have to wait long to see how the roster shakes out for the remainder of the season. Let’s just hope it still features Grant Williams because the Celtics need his corner three’s.

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