Celtics Starter’s Status in Doubt Following Unexpected Surgery: Report

Robert Williams, Boston Celtics

Getty Robert Williams, Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics‘ hopes of a hot start to the season took a significant blow when it was reported that Robert Williams would require a second surgery on his knee over the summer.

However, with the reported timeline for his return set between six to twelve weeks, it was news that most fans could stomach. Unfortunately, such a speedy return no longer seems to be the case, as, on October 18, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Williams may be out for the remainder of 2022 after having a Platelet Rich Plasma injection in his knee.

“I’m told that Robert Williams underwent a PRP injection on Monday, to continue to promote healing in that injured knee. He’s going to return at some point in the second half of the season. I’m told his hope is sometime in December or January, but it could be later than that. The Celtics are going to be very cautious, he tried to get back on the floor during the playoffs, when that knee was just a few weeks off of meniscus surgery. I think they’re not going to make that same decision now…as of right now, Williams is out indefinitely and hopefully coming back for the second half of the season,” Charania reported.

Last season, Williams was a force on both ends of the floor for Boston, averaging 10 points, 9.6 rebounds, two assists, and 2.2 blocks per game while ending the regular season with an effective field goal (eFG) percentage of 73.6%.

Danilo Gallinari Sends Message to Celtics Fans

Another player who projected to be a key piece to Boston’s puzzle this season was Danilo Gallinari, but fate had different ideas, sidelining him for potentially the entire season with an ACL injury sustained while playing in the FIBA EuroBasket tournament for the Italian national team.

Yet, Gallinari is choosing to remain optimistic, and on October 17, the veteran forward took to Twitter to share an encouraging message with Celtics fans despite his inability to be on the floor with his teammates.

“I wanted to start the regular season with you but…..there will be time! Meanwhile, our race starts tomorrow. All together. Come on Celtics,” Gallinari tweeted on October 17. 

Gallinari, 34, was supposed to be the sharpshooter with size that Brad Stevens had spent the entirety of last season looking for, luckily, he has a player option for the second year of his current deal, so if Boston doesn’t trade him before the February deadline, we will likely see Gallinari in a Celtics uniform to begin next season.

Grant Williams Fails to Agree to Contract Extension

With Gallinari sideline, a significant amount of responsibility will land on the shoulder of Grant Williams following his break-out 2021-22 season. Throughout the regular season and post-season, Williams proved to be a viable option off the bench, both as a three-point shooter who excels in the corners and as a switchable defender who can also operate in the paint and absorb contact.

However, despite Williams’ rapid progress throughout his third season in the league, his representatives and the Celtics front office were unable to agree to terms on a rookie-scale contract extension – sending the Tennessee native to restricted free agency next summer.

“The Celtics and Grant Williams were not able to reach an extension by the 6 pm deadline, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA. The two sides made progress over the past few days in negotiations, but were not able to come to an agreement,” The Athletic’s Jared Weiss reported on October 17.

Luckily, as Williams is a restricted free agent, Boston will have the ability to match any offer sheet the stretch four signs with another team, giving them some flexibility on a potential contract agreement, while also ensuring they’re paying fair market value for a versatile wing player who continues to show signs of improvement.

Of course, if Williams plays a big role in a championship-winning season, he could very well find himself walking into a significant payday in the summer.

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