06 July, 2023
Grant Williams will allegedly sign a four-year, $54 million contract with the Mavericks, according to reports that were made public Wednesday night when it was revealed that the Boston Celtics were sending Williams to Dallas as part of a sign-and-trade deal.
Remember that Williams reportedly declined a four-year contract extension offer from the Celtics in the offseason that could have reached the “low-$50 million range” with incentives? Williams apparently made that decision at the time. So, initially speaking, Williams’ choice to “bet on himself” did not result in a deal that was significantly more lucrative and also distanced him from a serious challenger.
Williams, however, is satisfied with how events turned out.
What will happen next in the Celtics’ dealing with the Mavericks for Grant Williams? | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube
“I was thankful just because I feel like the way my agent and everybody talked about it was that this was our floor,” Williams told The Athletic’s Jared Weiss following Wednesday night’s trade. “In Boston, it’s really like $48 million with the millionaire’s tax, so $54 million in Dallas is really like $58 million in Boston and $63 million in L.A.
“It was a little strategic on that end, but it’s also one of those things where the year was going great and then some things curved that. So to come out with this makes me feel very comfortable.”
Williams’ 2022–23 season with the Celtics was up and down. Before the All-Star break, he started 21 games in Robert Williams’ place and averaged over 10 points and five rebounds per contest. But in the postseason, he was dropped from head coach Joe Mazzulla’s lineup, missing three of Boston’s six games against the Atlanta Hawks in the opening round.
Williams, however, felt that his full body of performance may earn him more money in restricted free agency than the deal he turned down last summer after carving out a role in the Eastern Conference Finals by playing 25 minutes per game against the Miami Heat. He nearly got it right.
Williams said to Weiss, “I felt that I had done enough to sustain the conversation that I had the year prior. I was able to play well enough to think, “He’s worth this, but he could be worth more if he were unrestricted.”
Given that Kristaps Porzingis, who is currently on the roster and makes $36 million in 2023–24, is playing a comparable position, the Celtics felt that four years and $54 million was an excessive price to pay for the seventh or eighth man in their rotation. Williams received his payment, and the Celtics were able to keep their financial flexibility and gain the ability to make a move in the future by establishing a $6.2 million traded player exception (TPE), which appears to have worked out well for everyone involved.
Williams continued, “I understand how the math works, and yes, (the Celtics) could have afforded to keep me. However, you have to fully commit to it, and after the previous year, I didn’t think it was practical.
Hey, Boston was attempting to keep their advantage. You can’t really be furious at them for it since it just goes to show that they kind of want you to be there.