Less than a day after the Boston Celtics landed Kristaps Porzingis in a three-team trade, news is starting to trickle out about how the dominoes may fall in the aftermath of the deal.
One of these dominoes bears No. 12 for the Celtics.
Grant Williams is approaching restricted free agency and has reportedly garnered interest from “over half a dozen teams,” according to the Athletics Jared Weiss.
Fortunately for Boston, they have the chance to match any offer Williams receives from another franchise. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be back in green next year. The C’s could use the opportunity to match up to give themselves leverage for a sign-and-trade with whichever team wants to land Williams.
According to MassLive’s Brian Robbit is a “long shot” that the four-year veteran will return to a new contract with Boston.
“Boston has the ability to solve the depth issue if they bring back Grant Williams, but that appears to be a long shot at this point, barring another big move, according to sources,” Robb reported. “The money and likely role for him isn’t there with Porzingis signed for $36 million. Instead, look for the Celtics to try to swing a sign-and-trade with him per source and instead add another player for guard/wing depth or grab a future draft asset or traded player exception.”
In the weeks leading up to Thursday’s NBA Draft, which could serve as a springboard for many moves around the league, rumors have swirled about Williams’ future with the Celtics. There have reportedly been three teams prominently interested in the former Tennessee standout.
Let’s take a look at what the C’s could get back in deals with each.
Boston Celtics trade Grant Williams to Dallas Mavericks
Just yesterday, Athletics Tim Cato reported that Boston had discussed a potential sign-and-trade for Williams with the Dallas Mavericks.
“For example: a league source, who was granted anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, told me that Dallas has been talking to the Boston Celtics about a Grant Williams sign-and-trade,” Cato wrote. “Dallas isn’t interested in using its pick to acquire him, and the team could decide on an offer — something more than the mid-level exception — that would be big enough that Boston wouldn’t match. But Williams makes good sense in Dallas, and there may be other ways to complete that deal with Boston’s help if Dallas decides to seriously pursue it.”
Heading into the draft, the Mavericks have just eight players under contract for next season. Of that group, only two — Tim Hardaway Jr. — serve. and Davis Bertans — a salary similar to what Williams could command this summer (about $17 million).
Bertans is widely considered a negative asset, so let’s skip him.
Tim Hardaway Jr.
No. 10 Total committee
No. 25 Total committee
This trade could definitely have more options. Dallas’ interest levels will greatly affect how much Boston can get for Williams here.
Hardaway Jr. is a solid star though. He’s a guy who can give the Celtics a scoring punch off the bench from the wing position. In years past, they have missed wing depth significantly behind Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Maybe Williams is enough for the Mavericks to consider trading down in the draft? They have long been rumored to be looking at trades involving their No.10 pick.
This scenario would be a great way for Boston to bring in young talent that might be ready to help the team compete right away. Plus, because the hypothetical player would be acquired through the draft, the C’s would fill the cap with a rookie-scale contract.
The Boston Celtics trade Grant Williams to the Indiana Pacers
Another rumored suitor for Williams has been the Indiana Pacers. Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer listed them as a threat to lure the 24-year-old from Boston last week.
“The Pacers are also expected to be a team in the mix for restricted free agent Grant Williams,” Fischer wrote.
Indiana would have a bit more leverage in the negotiations than Dallas. For Spotrac, they’re projected to have over $27 million in cap space this offseason, meaning they wouldn’t even really need the Celtics to help them sign Williams. They could simply just overprice Boston.
However, in the situation where they want to target a good trade, the C’s will likely match, meaning the Pacers would need help.
One player to watch is Buddy Hield, who is set to make $18 million in the final season of a four-year, $94 million contract.
This swap is simple, but it makes sense for both sides. Of course, the Pacers have their sights set on Boston’s No. 12, so that mitigates that.
Plus, the Celtics would get to add even more shooting to a 3-point heavy offense. Last season, he appeared in 80 games for Indiana, averaging 16.8 points each time. The real prize is his ability to knock down shots from beyond the arc. The 30-year-old buried 42.5% of his attempts from beyond the arc in 2022-23. It wasn’t a fluke either, as he averages 40.2% for his career.
Boston Celtics trade Grant Williams to Orlando Magic
The latest team that has been linked to Williams is the Orlando Magic. A few weeks ago, an anonymous league executive said Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney that the forward would be a “perfect fit” on the Magic.
“He’s 24, he’s proven his chops on both ends,” one Western Conference executive told Deveney. “You can’t coach that kind of experience. He has it. He fits perfectly there. You want to be a playoff team, he’s the kind of guy they want. But Orlando would have to pay too much to get him, and it’s hard to expect a team to do that. Obviously, if you’re Williams, you want to see Magic be aggressive in the market.”
Like Indiana, Orlando will have money to throw at Williams this summer, giving the Celtics less leverage in a potential sign-and-trade.
One name that jumps out when looking at the cap is Magic guard Gary Harris.
Harris had an effective campaign in limited appearances for the Magic last season. He was good for 8.3 points per game. game while knocking down 45.0% of his attempts from the field and 43.1% of those from beyond the arc.
His fit in the Celtics’ high-powered offense would be similar to Hield’s. He would be another reliable option to serve as a floor spacer for Brown and Tatum.