Celtics Coach Sounds Off on Grant Williams After Mavericks Move

Newly acquired Dallas Mavericks forward Grant Williams.

Getty Newly acquired Dallas Mavericks forward Grant Williams.

Earlier this month, the Dallas Mavericks acquired Grant Williams from the Boston Celtics as part of a sign-and-trade. The four-year veteran joined the Mavericks after a season where his role seemed to be ever-changing.

The man in charge of Williams’ minutes, Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla, recently discussed the new Maverick’s decision to leave Boston this summer.

“Yeah, I mean anytime that you get a guy and you have someone who’s been with you for three or four years, I think that the number one goal is to leave it better than you found it,” Mazzulla told reporters Wednesday, per CLNS Media. “And I thought that Grant did a great job of that and I’m excited for him to have an opportunity in Dallas doing what he does best. I wish him nothing but the best and I appreciate also what he said. You know, him and I — it’s funny, floating into this role of being the head coach, there were a lot of relationships that I had as an assistant coach. He was a guy that I was able to get really close with over my three years here, along with a few others, and so I’m just grateful to who he is as a person and I’m excited for him as a player.”

Grant Williams Excited to Grow with Mavericks

Williams recently discussed his decision to leave Boston in favor of Dallas, during a July 21 appearance on “The Old Man and The Three” podcast. The 24-year-old told hosts JJ Redick and Tommy Alter that the “opportunity” with the Mavericks helped lure him away.

“I had a pretty good understanding from the start that I probably wasn’t [going back],” Williams said. “You know, like even just before free agency even happened — before Kristaps [Porzingis] and we made the trade — I was like ‘I probably won’t be back.’ Not because of anything bad or anything like that. It was just more so opportunity elsewhere and also where I wanted to see myself in my career and how it was going. I want to win, but I also want to compete and impact winning and be a value to a team, both on and off the floor. I thought I had that a little bit in Boston. Then the role was a little bit diminished/up and down in that last year and I was coming back to a situation where I was going to be in a similar position, probably. And then you add in Kristaps and that made it almost a 100% guarantee that I’d be moving.”

Grant Williams Gushes over Mavericks’ Talent

Shortly after the news of Williams’ move to Dallas surfaced, he sat down with The Athletic’s Jared Weiss to discuss his new team. He specifically shared excitement about playing alongside the Mavs’ star duo of Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic.

“The talent on this team is absurd,” Williams told Weiss. “Kyrie and Luka, being able to put two superstars of that nature, two top 10 players or whatever you want to say, Kyrie is one of the best point guards in the league still. As well as those young guys they have to grow and compete like (Olivier-Maxence Prosper), they drafted Dereck Lively. The Seth Currys, the vets in the world, they’re really talented.”

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