Celtics Grant Williams being targeted by Conference Rival: Report

Grant Williams, Boston Celtics

Getty Grant Williams, Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics failed to reach an agreement with Grant Williams on a potential contract extension this past summer, meaning the impressive young forward will become a restricted free agent once the current season reaches its conclusion.

However, according to Greg Sylvander of Five Reason Sports, Williams may not be with the Celtics by that point, as both he and the Miami Heat have a ‘mutual interest’ in a potential trade.

“The Miami Heat have honed in on Grant Williams as a player of interest via trade. There appears to be mutual interest in a potential move at some point this season, per sources. A third team may be needed to facilitate. (The) assumption is (the) Heat would acquire Williams with intent to extend him,” Sylvander reported via Five Reasons Sports ‘Off the floor’ update service. 

Williams is a core member of the Celtics rotation, providing them with exceptional floor spacing and a reliable presence on defense due to his versatility and ability to switch across multiple positions. Over his first 22 games of the season, Williams is averaging 9.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and two assists per game while shooting 45.8% from deep and 53.4% from the field. 

It’s also worth remembering that due to Williams being a restricted free agent, the Celtics have the ability to match any offer sheet he signs, and as such, Boston is not under pressure to pursue a trade for their fourth year forward.

Boston Drew a Line During Contract Negotiations

On November 14, HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto reported that Boston had drawn the line in their contract negotiations with Williams at $12.5 million per year over four years, giving Williams a $50 million dollar deal.

“During extension talks with Grant Williams, the Celtics never offered more than $50 million guaranteed over four years, league sources told HoopsHype. As I previously reported on HoopsHype, Williams would’ve taken a deal for $14 million annually. There are some around the league that believe an offer around $18 million annually could be too much for Boston to match in restricted free agency,” Scotto wrote.

Williams’ production this season has certainly seen his stock rise around the league, and now, it’s highly likely that he will see a significant increase in the amount of money he’s being offered when he enters restricted free agency in the summer of 2023.

Williams Has Improved His Offensive Game

Last season, we saw Williams become one of the most respectable catch-and-shoot threats in the NBA, with him averaging 41% shooting on 251 attempts during the regular season. 

This year, Williams has added an off-the-dribble game to his offensive arsenal, allowing him to attack close-out and pressure defenses with a floater game – leading him to average 52% from the short mid-range area and 78% within four feet of the rim.

Given the Tennessee native’s continued improvement on both ends of the floor, it’s highly unlikely Brad Stevens agrees to any deal that would see him go to, and improve, a conference rival – especially one as talented as the Heat, regardless of what the potential trade package looked like, or how many future assets were tied to the deal.

Read More