Grant Williams’ looming contract extension could keep him out of trade talks

Over the previous week, we have all heard how the Boston Celtics stepped away from the negotiating desk as soon as the Brooklyn Nets countered Brad Stevens’ authentic provide for Kevin Durant. And in some unspecified time in the future or one other, we have all tried to determine out who the ‘extra position participant’ could be, ought to Stevens re-enter into discussions within the coming weeks.

Rest assured, there’s little-to-no probability that the extra man might be Robert Williams, as giving up Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and the Time Lord is the quickest path to NBA purgatory — regardless of who’s coming again in return.

That’s the place Grant Williams’ title comes into the equation, as his enhancements during the last twelve months make him a fascinating addition to a trade bundle. However, there’s a slight snag in that equation, one which could work in Williams’ favor, assuming he needs to stay with the Celtics.

Grant Williams is getting into the ultimate 12 months of his rookie scale contract, and is eligible for an extension. Before his improved play final season, Boston could have paid him pennies on the greenback and stored the younger ahead round long-term. Things are totally different now, although. This means the Celtics have a possible headache on their fingers — a headache no different staff would need to purchase earlier than the beginning of the season.

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Rather than anticipating to pay Williams a nominal payment over the following few years, he has performed himself into an inexpensive contract, one which could vary between $8 million and $12 million a 12 months with out anybody batting a watch. Brad Stevens will certainly have a quantity in thoughts, and will not need to exceed that, if in any respect doable.

But Williams holds some of the playing cards right here. The Tennessee alum has the power to reject an extension and take a look at free company if he appears like he could earn extra within the open market, at which level, Boston would wish to go deeper into their checkbook.

Why on Earth would Brooklyn, or another potential trade companion need to soak up that sort of headache? Sure, Williams has confirmed himself within the post-season and was a key think about how the Celtics defended (ahem) Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Bam Adebayo within the playoffs, however on the finish of the day, you are basically paying him based mostly on a one-year pattern measurement.

Because, earlier than final season, you were not getting this sort of manufacturing from the third-year combo massive, and there have been professional considerations about his means to stay within the league past his rookie contract.

“I might say it is 70/30 – Improvement aspect is 70, I really feel like the quantity of effort I put into making pictures final summer season, and the defensive depth I’ve grown with…that allowed me to meet a task that was wanted. And the chance arose,” Williams stated whereas showing on a latest episode of Duncan Robinson’s podcast.

Suddenly, regardless of his spectacular season, Williams appears to be like like someone you need no half of, no less than, not till his contract scenario is resolved.

The flip aspect of the argument

Now, that is to not say Boston would not be prepared to incorporate him in a trade, as a result of the identical purpose different groups are doubtless turning their nostril up at him, is identical purpose the Celtics could be tempted into negotiations — you move the issue onto someone else.

The final thing you need, as a contending staff, is to have a disgruntled participant within the locker room, who feels some kind of approach as a result of negotiations have stalled, or they weren’t proud of what was on provide. Furthermore, Boston is already on harm management, as Jaylen Brown cannot be blissful about being floated in trade rumors for the umpteenth time.

So, if Brooklyn or another potential trade companion was to indicate curiosity in Williams this summer season, there is a very actual probability the entrance workplace could be tempted to clean their fingers of a situation that could shortly turn out to be problematic for them.

Restricted Free Agency

It’s price noting that ought to Williams and the Celtics, or another staff, fail to conform to an extension, that does not imply he can merely stroll away in the summertime. Under that premise, Williams would enter restricted free company, permitting Boston to match any provide that got here in for the versatile ahead – however that may typically be detrimental to a staff’s cap flexibility.

The Phoenix Suns took this route with Deandre Ayton final season and ended up matching a $133 million provide from the Indiana Pacers. Obviously, Williams will not fetch that kind of cash on the free agent market — however groups will look to drive the value up, even when it is simply to hamstring the Celtics transferring ahead.

While the notion of getting into a bidding struggle subsequent summer season is not doubtless so as to add a lot urgency to Stevens’ sitting on the negotiating desk, it’s definitely a further purpose to consider that each one events concerned will need to attain an amicable settlement as early as doable.

The actuality

Assuming Williams is malleable on contractual phrases, this challenge doesn’t turn out to be an element, and he stays in Boston for the foreseeable future. The reality of the matter is, if the younger ahead can replicate and maintain the extent of manufacturing we noticed from him final season, he might be a significant half of what Ime Udoka and the Celtics are attempting to do from a schematic standpoint, whereas additionally being one of the very best catch-and-shoot threats on the roster, if not within the league.

Williams has earned the correct to debate an enormous payday, however that does not imply the upcoming discussions will not result in a headache, but when we’re being trustworthy, all of us knew this example was on the horizon, and now it is going to be attention-grabbing to see the way it all performs out.

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