The Boston Celtics have been dealing with a whirlwind of news and reports for the last month or so. From the Ime Udoka situation to the multitude of frontcourt injuries they’ve had to deal with, their plate has been full.
But the issue of Grant Williams’ contract extension still remains, and it’s getting more pressing by the day. Boston has until the day before Opening Night (October 17) to extend him, or he will become a restricted free agent next offseason.
As that deadline inches closer, conflicting reports have surfaced.
Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston believes that “there’s a good chance” Williams signs an extension with the team ahead of the season. He notes the Celtics’ lack of spending money to bring in outside talent and the fact that Al Horford’s money will be off the books after this year.
“That’s why we think there’s a good chance a Williams extension gets done before next Monday’s deadline. In three preseason games, Williams has showed an expanded toolbox and will be vital to this team surviving the early part of the season while dealing with frontcourt injuries.”
On the other hand, Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports reports something completely different. In his first intel notebook, he wrote that “here does not seem to be an extension coming” for Williams, according to his sources.
Earlier this summer, I spoke with resident cap expert Keith Smith about a potential Williams extension, and he noted that his annual value likely sits somewhere around “the $12 to $13 million a year range.” Simultaneously, he mentioned the risk of allowing Williams to enter restricted free agency. “There’s a handful of teams that he could make sense on that could pay him, you know, something in the $15 to $20 million a year range,” Keith told me.
Despite all the noise, Williams remains focused on the season, instead choosing to let his agents worry about his impending contract situation.
“For me, I’m just approaching every single day as if I either have it or I don’t have it. Just play the game the right way, make sure the team’s winning and focus on the ultimate goal of mine and that stuff will take care of itself. For me, I’m so locked in on the basketball side of things. Contract, anything of that nature, if it happens, I’ll be happy, but until then, let’s just play it out the way we are.”
Grant Williams on a possible contract extension: "That stuff will take care of itself"— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) October 5, 2022
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Williams enjoyed a breakout season last year, emerging as one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA and providing the Celtics with a valuable, versatile presence on the defensive end of the floor. And at just 23 years old, he still has lots of room for improvement.
So, as reports flood in about the likelihood of an extension, the October 17 deadline continues to get closer and closer. The season is right around the corner for Boston, but that also means a decision on Williams’ contract is as well.