There’s a chance that Boston Celtics fans have seen Grant Williams suit up in green for the final time. The fourth-year forward — who has played a key role in three Eastern Conference Finals runs — is entering free agency for the first time this summer.
While he’s restricted, there’s still a possibility that another team will out-price the Celtics and lure Williams away. According to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, the Dallas Mavericks have joined the Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic in the hunt for Boston’s No. 12.
“The Boston Celtics are expected to tender a $6.2 million qualifying offer to make Grant Williams a restricted free agent this summer, but it’s not stopping other teams across the league from reportedly having interest in going after him this summer, including the Pacers and Magic,” Scotto wrote. “According to The Ringer, the Celtics are exploring using Williams as a potential sign-and-trade candidate. The latest team to have interest in Williams looking ahead to free agency is the Dallas Mavericks, league sources told HoopsHype. It’s worth noting Williams and Mavericks star Luka Doncic are both represented by WME Sports.”
Though Dallas may be interested in Williams, it’s tough to imagine that he ends up there unless there’s a sign-and-trade. The Mavs can create up to $19.6 million in cap space, but in order to do so they’d have to let Kyrie Irving walk away — which they won’t.
What would a sign-and-trade between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks look like?
As of now, Dallas has just eight players under contract for next season. Of that group, just two — Tim Hardaway Jr. and Davis Bertans — make around the salary that Williams is likely to garner this summer (around $17 million).
Hardaway Jr. could be an interesting piece for the Celtics to get back in a trade. The 31-year-old would be a decent backup option for both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. He averaged 14.4 points per game last season while shooting 40.1% from the field and 38.5% from deep. Of course, the overall percentage isn’t great, but in Boston, his role would likely be mostly catch-and-shoot.
As for Bertans, there’s absolutely no way that the Cs should trade for him. Even if the No. 10 overall pick is involved that’s a tough sell. He’s grossly overpaid and is considered to be a negative asset by many.
At the end of the day, there isn’t a realistic scenario that jumps out, where Williams winds up taking the floor for the Mavs next season. He’s been too important to the Celtics in his four seasons in the NBA and there really isn’t any return they’d be able to pull from Dallas that’d make losing him worth it.