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Mavericks and Hornets interested in Grant Williams

As cap space shrivels up around the NBA, potential suitors for the four-year pro have started to come out of the woodwork.

Charlotte Hornets (116) Vs. Boston Celtics (127) At TD Garden Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

NBA free agency is already in silly season mode. The Houston Rockets are on a shopping spree and Damian Lillard has requested a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers (finally).

Hoopshype’s Michael Scotto and NBA insider Marc Stein have both reported Charlotte’s interest in signing Williams to an offer sheet starting on July 6 after the NBA moratorium. Miles Bridges picked up his $7.9 million qualifying offer yesterday in lieu of negotiating a new deal with the Hornets with another restricted free agent, P.J. Washington, still trying to figure out his future with them, too. They still have cap space to make a competitive offer to Williams, but per Stein, “the Celtics have been sending behind-the-scenes signals to interested teams that they intend to match any offer sheet.”

Boston Celtics v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Mavericks are also in the Grant game. They can offer him something around the taxpayer mid-level exception and for the Celtics to match it (or anything above that number), that would presumably push them over the new collective bargaining agreement’s second apron. Penalties in that rarefied air include obviously the luxury tax payment, but also restrictions in using their own MLE and signing buyout candidates.

Like Bridges, Williams could accept his $8.5 million QO, play out next season, and become an unrestricted free agent. He’d have a no-trade clause in a make-or-break deal in Boston, too.

Although Williams is popularly viewed as the “fourth big” behind Al Horford, Robert Williams, and the newly acquired Kristaps Porzingis, he did play 38% of his rookie minutes at small forward per Basketball Reference. Despite the addition of Oshae Brissett, Williams’ 3&D skillset and versatility are invaluable around the league. We’ll just have to see how much opposing teams and more importantly, the Celtics are willing to pay for it.

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