3 lottery teams that are planning to steal Boston Celtics restricted free agent

According to Heavy’s Sean Deveney, there is a handful of NBA lottery teams looking to poach Grant Williams from the Boston Celtics in restricted free agency this summer: the Orlando Magic, Utah Jazz, and Indiana Pacers.

“Orlando is the one that keeps coming up because that team is trying to turn a corner,” the executive said to Deveney (h/t Heavy’s Mark Nilon). “Utah could make things difficult, too, because he has a relationship with Danny Ainge. There is not a lot of cap space out there, though, and that is going to be the tricky thing for Grant—how can he push the Celtics to give him a big offer if there is no one out there to give the Celtics something to match. Indiana is one to watch, too. Remember, when DeAndre Ayton was in a bind and could not get an offer last year, the Pacers came through and pushed that over the finish line. Can that happen again here? Definitely. They want to play better defense and Williams helps them with that if they can clear the room to sign him. But even if they just lay out the offer that the Celtics have to match, that might be something they’re willing to do.”

Williams is said to be looking for a contract starting at $15 million per season. With Boston looking at big paydays for Jaylen Brown in the summer of 2024 and Derrick White in 2025, the undersized role-playing forward may be a cap casualty due to increased penalties for tax-paying teams in the new CBA.

Boston Celtics may have signed Justin Champagnie as a hedge for Grant Williams leaving

The Boston Celtics are reportedly hedging for Williams’ exit, having signed G-League stud Justin Champagnie as a backup option.

“Champagnie has a lot of potential as a defensive wing,” an executive told Heavy’s Sean Deveney (h/t Heavy’s Adam Taylor). “It is a bit of a message to Grant Williams, like, ‘Hey, we will be OK if you leave.’ And they could legitimately look at him as a player they want to bring along.”

Williams’ potential departure could also be offset by the return of injured veteran sharpshooter Danilo Gallinari and 2023 trade deadline acquisition Mike Muscala.