Last summer, Grant Williams and the Boston Celtics were unable to agree terms for a contract extension, and now, the Tennesse product will be a restricted free agent this summer. According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Indiana Pacers are expected to be ‘in the mix’ for Williams this summer.
“The Pacers are expected to be one team in the mix for restricted free agent Grant Williams as well,” Fischer reported.
As a restricted free agent, the Celtics will have the ability to match any offer sheet that Williams signs, although they likely have a number in mind and will not want to go too much higher than that. According to a Feb. 14 report from Marc Stein, Williams came into the 2022 off-season looking to earn around $20 million per year.
After a tumultuous 2022-23 season, it is highly unlikely that Williams will fetch that sort of salary in the free-agent market, which could allow the Celtics to retain one of their key contributors long-term. Unless, of course, a cap space team decides that Williams is exactly who they need and makes an offer that Boston wouldn’t feel comfortable matching.
Williams, 24, has developed into one of the better three-and-d options in the NBA over the last two years. Defensively, Williams has proven capable of holding his own against some of the league’s elite big men, including current NBA champion Nikola Jokic, earning him the self-given nickname of Batman.
Yet, during Boston’s most recent postseason run, Williams found himself struggling to hold down a consistent role in the rotation. There were moments where we saw a genuine floor spacer and defensive wing stopper, and others where Williams was just another body to throw out there and see how things went.
However, we have since found out that Williams was playing through injury and has undergone surgery to remedy the issue ahead of next season. Still, we saw what Williams can bring to the court during the early part of the season when he flashed an improved offensive game that included scoring off the dribble. Williams also looked to be a high-level switch defender, capable of guarding multiple positions on the court.
The Indiana Pacers will likely be one of the multiple rebuilding teams that show flirting glances towards Williams this summer, as many could view him as a potential culture setter due to his fierce competitive nature and willingness to sacrifice for the team.
Nevertheless, those same values will be the reason why the Celtics look to keep one of their homegrown stars for years to come; all that needs to be figured out is the money. After all, if Williams truly values winning, he’s already in the right place.