Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III had knee surgery to “remove loose bodies and address swelling in his left knee,” on September 23 per ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. He was initially given an 8-12 week timetable to return to the floor.
Ahead of the C’s opening day matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers on October 18, Shams Charania appeared on Run it Back, an NBA-focused show hosted by former ESPN employees Michelle Beadle and Chandler Parsons, to give an update on his injury.
Needless to say, his update was somewhat mind-blowing.
Charania essentially said that ‘The Timelord’ would suit up today if the Boston Celtics were in the middle of the postseason — but that he’d also likely return sometime in 2023 when the regular season is halfway done.
The Boston Celtics must either perfect small-ball or make a trade for a big man
The Houdini would like to say that there’s a universe where Noah Vonleh, Blake Griffin, and Luke Kornet form a perfect platoon to get the Boston Celtics past the first half of the season without issue. But just in case that isn’t the universe set to unfold in the next few months, the Cs must figure out a way to hedge Robert Williams’ injury.
The most convenient way to do that would be Joe Mazzulla perfecting the art of small-ball. Boston’s most talented positions are the backcourt and the wing, and in the former group’s case specifically, traditional lineups won’t get everyone the proper floor-time they need. Relying on Al Horford and Grant Williams to carry a bulk of the load at center, with Jayson Tatum pitching in, would be needed for this to work. If that trio could bang on the block with the burliest bigs in the NBA and not need many days off to get by, mission accomplished.
If not, though, the Cs should pursue a deal for a big man like San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl or one of the big men on the Danny Ainge-run Utah Jazz. Danilo Gallinari’s dead money contract would be the key to either of those deals.