Celtics Make Contract Decisions on Three Young Players: Report

Romeo Langford, left, seldom-seen Celtics guard.

Getty Romeo Langford, seldom-seen Celtics guard.

The Celtics keep moving forward and will pick up the contract options on three young players still on their rookie deals—guard Romeo Langford, forward Grant Williams and center Robert Williams.

The news comes from former Celtics and Suns executive Ryan McDonough, now a reporter and analyst for Radio.com.

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The moves were expected because all three players are recent draftees and still being paid relatively small amounts under the league’s rookie salary scale. Langford was the 14th pick in the 2019 NBA draft and Grant Williams was the 22nd pick that same year.

Robert Williams went 27th in 2018.

Langford is slated to earn $3.8 million next season, and Grant Williams will make $2.6 million. Robert Williams will earn $3.6 million and will be eligible for a contract extension.

Robert Williams Cashing in on Potential

Robert Williams, who is 23 and in his third season, is starting to translate his potential into actual production on the floor. He had four points and four rebounds in 12 minutes in the Celtics’ opener, then had 12 points, four rebounds and four steals in Monday’s loss to the Pacers. Williams was 6-for-7 shooting from the floor in that game.

One of his steals came late in the fourth quarter and gave the Celtics a short-lived chance at the win against the Pacers.

“I just thought Rob was our best big tonight,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “He played with great energy, played super hard, did everything well. Obviously, we were very low energy in the third quarter and that cost us the game. To our guys’ credit, they hung in there and got back in the game. Rob was one of the reasons why, because he brought a great deal of energy to the table.”

Romeo Langford Has Been a Bust So Far for Celtics

While Robert Williams has a high ceiling if he continues to play with energy, the Celtics have been comfortable with what they get from Grant Williams from the beginning of his career. He played in 69 games last season and has played in all three of Boston’s games so far this year.

Grant Williams is averaging 18.7 minutes and while he has not been a very willing shooter (he has scored 13 total points on 14 shots) he finds different ways to contribute. Williams is averaging 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists on the season.

Of the three, the most disappointing has been, easily, Langford. The Celtics were hoping that he could be a vital two-way piece off the bench last season, but Langford just was never able to stay healthy. He played in 32 games, averaging just 11.6 minutes and 2.5 points.

His inability to stay healthy was one of the worries about Langford coming from Indiana into the 2019 draft, and his NBA career has thus far borne out those concerns. Langford missed time last year with injuries to his ankle, hip, knee and groin.

He had surgery on his right wrist in the offseason and remains out this year, yet to make an appearance. Three weeks ago, Langford met with the media to report that the cast is off his wrist and, “Right now I’m focused on getting my range of motion back in my wrist and strengthening it back up.”

Still, Langford is expected to be out at least until late January, possibly longer.

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