New Mavericks forward Grant Williams discusses how the team’s ‘aggressive’ pursuit led to a deal

New Mavericks forward Grant Williams recently joined former NBA guard JJ Redick on his podcast, “The Old Man & the Three.” The duo discussed Williams’ recent foray into restricted free agency, Williams’ ideal role for himself behind Mavs stars Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving and more.

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Here are some highlights, edited for clarity:

Q: What made your free agency situation unique?

Williams: “What I will say is the first thing I learned is that limited free agency is bad. It’s something that as players is just like one of those things that’s just going to be a problem and it’s something we’ll probably have to discuss later down the line. It prevents a lot of movement and can also kind of cause a player to not necessarily have the options that he wants as he goes. At the same time, I learned that free agency is also stressful. As much as you can have an understanding of where you’re going and the possibilities, things like that – it goes fast.

“It’s one of those where I was pretty much sold on a couple of teams that I knew I could go to. Like right away, I wanted to go to, and it took them a while. It took a good seven days because of restricted free agency. If you get an offer sheet like the situation I was in, where you have to have an offer sheet or a sign-and-trade with a team, you have to wait about six days before you can really put it down. If you’re not, you give teams five days to match the contract. Conversely, if you do it on the seventh, they get a question about 32 hours, 36 hours or something like that.

“It really prevents you from going in the first few days of free agency because no team wants to tie up their cap. When it came to sign-and-trades, that’s another thing that was kind of weird because teams are trying to either work with you as a player or work with the team to and try to coordinate between the two of you. Like, ‘What is it going to take to get this person? What is it going to take financially to sign you?’ Then they coordinate with each other to figure out the details behind the scenes. It was an interesting process, but Dallas itself was a team that I was pretty much really committed to from the start. I really enjoyed the front office, really enjoyed the team and the staff there. I had a great understanding of what it could potentially be in terms of talent, in terms of opportunity, in terms of the staff and the organization. I’m super excited because it all ended up working out. Boston took care of and got me where I wanted to go, and they ended up work with each other to get the deal done.”

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Q: Was there ever another team that you were close to? A team you would like to join?

Williams: “I had a pretty good consensus on a couple of teams when I first started looking at the market, whether it’s Indiana’s, Chicago’s, Atlanta’s, Charlotte’s, it was one of those where there were a lot of options, but the ones that were most concrete were the Dallas of the world, maybe Chicago and Atlanta or New York. Things got a little closer and closer, but they were still a little further away because Dallas was the main priority and they pursued really aggressively from the beginning. It was probably the only one that was coming to fruition , Dallas was the first priority and then there were backups in a way because of how [the Mavericks] attack the conversation. Other teams followed suit and tried to get deals done, but Dallas was just way too aggressive about it and it ended up working.”

Q: When Boston made the Kristaps Porzingis tradewas that a sign to you that you probably weren’t going back?

Williams: “Oh yes, I had a pretty good understanding from the start that I probably wasn’t. Even before free agency, before the Kristaps trade, I was like, I’m probably not coming back. Not because of anything bad, just more similar option elsewhere. Where I wanted to see myself for my career and how it went. I want to win, but I also want to compete and influence winning, and be an asset to a team on and off the floor. I thought I had a bit of it in Boston and then my role was diminished, up and down the last year. And I came back in a situation where I would probably be in a similar position and then you add Kristaps and that made it like a 100% guarantee to move.”

Q: Do you have an idea of ​​like, the best version of yourself? What is it? What role do you play in?

Williams: “Yeah, in a perfect world. In the role I play, it looks like being a versatile defender guarding the best player. High energy guy, but also being able to be part of the offense and utilized well. Not just the spot-up 3s and all, but I feel like the progression I’ve made has been a lot like, in actions where it’s breaking into a roll, pick and pop game, being involved and being able to get actions where you can play like “Sl oh me!” And either fake the handoff or handoff to one of the better guys like Kyrie or Luka, then screen and roll and make a play at the rim.

“I feel like that’s probably the best role that I can be in right now. Just because that’s the kind of skill set that I developed, not just in Boston, but elsewhere. Maybe as the years go by I’ll develop into more, get the ball in my hands a little bit more. But the way I look at it is the best opportunity that I’ll ever be in, right now, is going to be ‘involved’ on the offensive end and ‘challenging’ on the defensive end.”

Twitter: @dmn_mavericks

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