Boston Celtics: Robert Williams’ impact on free agency

Robert Williams can have a huge impact on the free agency plans of the Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics may have found the steal of the draft in Robert Williams, and he is certainly going to be a major part of their plans next season. He still needs to prove that he can actually handle a proper role in the NBA, but he could drastically change what the Celtics try to do in free agency.

If the Celtics believe in Williams’ ability to have an immediate impact on defense, while being a truly elite athlete, then they may not need to make any changes in free agency.

The best kind of bargain a team can get is a rookie contributing, and that is a big deal for a team that does not have much money to work with. Williams can fill the one major gap on this Celtics team, which can then allow them to focus their money on keeping this roster in tact.

The Celtics need to have rebounding and they need front court depth. Aron Baynes filled that role last season, and they absolutely need to have players that can fill that kind of role.

The Celtics will embrace small ball, but they need a front court that can hold things together with all kinds of wings and shooting around them.

If Williams is able to come in as a defensive specialist, and solidify that front court, then it will be easier to bring Marcus Smart back, and not have to go out and find another traditional big like they did with Baynes in free agency last year.

What is so special about Williams is he can bring the impact of traditional size, while having the versatility to defend almost any position on the court. He is undersized, but his vertical and wingspan are the key to having that interior impact.

If Williams brings that traditional impact along with his versatility, the Celtics will have the front court depth they need right now, and they will not have to spend any more money addressing that issue in free agency.

It will be difficult for the Celtics to gauge if he can have that kind of impact while free agency is going on, but how active they are will be a clear indication of how much they trust Williams. The Celtics are not going to find a player with the defensive upside of Williams in free agency, especially not with their salary cap situation.

The Celtics are close to a finished product, but there are always going to be issues that should be addressed. Williams can come in and fill the biggest need on this team, and could make free agency a complete non factor this season, beyond getting Smart back.

Williams is in a position to save the Celtics a lot of money by fixing the biggest problem that had to be addressed in free agency. Everyone wants to have Smart back on this team, and if the money they save on Williams means they can pay Smart the money he needs to stick around, that alone will make this draft pick a major win.

It will be interesting to see how much the Celtics trust this front court depth now, but they have good options that can do special things on defense and it is hard to imagine them finding anything close to Williams in free agency.

Ideally, Williams will allow the Celtics to focus entirely on the roster they have in front of them, and not get bogged down trying to find that key free agent on a bargain deal. Free agency can be a great tool, but there is always risk involved. Williams can help mitigate that risk, and give this roster the continuity they have finally worked towards.