Burning Questions Week: what would a Grant Williams extension look like?

Grant Williams is up for an extension, and the Celtics have till October seventeenth to get it completed. It’s robust to pinpoint what the contract phrases is perhaps, what the group is prepared to pay him, or what kind of deal he is searching for.

This uncertainty emanates from his distinctive skillset. His counting stats from final season aren’t spectacular (7.8 factors, 3.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists), however after an underwhelming rookie season and closely criticized sophomore 12 months, Grant made a leap in 2021-2022, changing into the versatile huge everybody was enthusiastic about when he was drafted in 2019.

His most dear high quality is the power to protect greater gamers on the block whereas nonetheless having the quickness to defend guards on the perimeter. He’s on a shortlist of bigs that features Draymond, Bam, Jaren, AD, Giannis, together with younger sensations Evan Mobley and Scottie Barnes, who can successfully guard any participant wherever on the ground.

On the TNT broadcast in the course of the playoffs, Stan Van Gundy stated, “I all the time thought he was a good defender. Now I’m questioning if he is the very best defender within the league.” Notorious SVG definitely is not the arbiter of what constitutes a good defender, however he is additionally not a man to spew an out-of-pocket scorching take like that.

Williams was a low quantity low proportion three-point shooter at Tennessee, however shot 41 % final 12 months, together with 47 % on nook threes. He as soon as struggled ending on the rim, usually getting blocked by longer bigs, however final season shot an impressive 75 % on the rim and 57 % general from two-point vary.

A contract for 4 years and $44 million sounds nearly proper for Grant Williams. It’s barely beneath Timelord’s 4-year $48 million greenback deal, and in step with the 3-year $33 million extension the Mavericks not too long ago gave Maxi Kleber, a related undersized-but-versatile huge who would not have Grant’s defensive functionality however does a little extra on offense.

But with NBA contracts, guys do not receives a commission what they’re price, quite what they will command available on the market. He is perhaps an $11 million participant at his present age of 23, however this extension pays him at ages 25, 26, 27, and 28. Combined with the brand new TV rights deal in 2025 and final week’s information concerning the wage cap leaping to $134 million for the 2023-2024 season, Grant Williams and his agent Erik Kabe will definitely search a extra profitable contract than 4 years, $44 million.

From his 2019 draft class, Ja Morant, Darius Garland, and Zion Williamson every signed max extensions, whereas RJ Barrett signed a 4-year, $120 million deal ($107 million assured). Cody Martin, Nic Claxton, and Daniel Gafford – diamond-in-the-rough second rounders – additionally signed extensions.

By all indications, Grant enjoys enjoying in Boston. He has good relationships with Tatum and Brown, and he performed an vital bench function on final 12 months’s Finals group. Earlier this summer season, he commented on extension talks:

“I feel each events are hopefully mutually understanding that we need to get this factor completed and be sure that we come collectively and have a profitable subsequent few years.”

Sounds like a man who desires to maintain sporting inexperienced. However, when he sees the contracts of Marvin Bagley (3 years, $37 million), Richaun Holmes (4 years, $46 million), and Daniel Gafford (3 years, $40 million), he will not really feel compelled to take a hometown low cost , who ought to he.

The Celtics can study from the Jalen Brunson scenario. Dallas might have signed him to a 4-year, $55 million deal earlier than final season, however the Mavs did not supply the contract till the commerce deadline when it was clear Brunson would command extra that summer season. The query of whether or not he was price $100 million lingered all through the season, however contemplating the approaching cap spikes, his 4-year, $105 million contract with the Knicks would possibly quickly look like a cut price.

I concern one thing related might occur to Grant Williams. The Celtics would possibly play hardball throughout extension talks and select to play out the season. Grant will present enchancment, and when restricted free company hits, Boston can be priced out.

For that motive, I do not suppose it is unreasonable to offer him a 4-year, $60 million extension. The cap is leaping up by $10 million in two years, and when the brand new TV cash kicks in by 2025, it can look like a truthful deal.

It’ll be similar to Wendell Carter (4 years, $50 million), Mitchell Robinson (4 years, $60 million), and Lauri Markkannen (4 years, $67 million). It’s effectively beneath Jaren Jackson’s 4-year, $105 million extension and Duncan Robinson’s 5-year, $90 million albatross of a contract, whereas on par with Lu Dort’s 5-year, $82 million deal (with $64 million assured).

On the floor, paying Grant Williams $15 million per 12 months appears steep. But it is counterproductive to look on the sticker costs. Instead, we should always look at percentages of the wage cap, and $15 million is 11 % of 2023-2024’s $134 million cap.

By comparability, when Marcus Smart signed his 4-year, $52 million contract in 2018, that was 13 % of the cap, and Avery Bradley’s 4-year, $32 million contract from 2014 was 12 %. If the cap goes over $150 million, Grant’s contract can be beneath 10 %, and he’ll be a part of Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams as having among the best offers within the NBA.

If you could not inform, I’m a fan of Grant Williams. I like how he wasn’t afraid to get bodily with Giannis, how he saved capturing when the Bucks left him open in Game 7, and the way he responded final 12 months after his a lot derided 2020-2021 season.

No, he wasn’t notably good within the convention finals and was a non-factor in The Finals. But gamers normally get higher after experiencing the very best ranges of basketball, and I’m assured he’ll come again this season as an improved participant. At 23, he isn’t even scratched the floor of his prime.

After Al Horford’s “fountain of youth” interval ends, Grant can simply slide into the beginning energy ahead function. He performed with the ball extra usually in school and was thought-about a good passer, and I count on him to construct on these abilities over the subsequent few years.

I hope over the subsequent month, we get a “Grant Williams and the Boston Celtics have agreed to an extension” tweet from Shams or Woj. Even if it seems like an overpay, he would possibly pleasantly shock the followers by outplaying the deal, identical to he did final season.

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