Grade the Trade: Boston Celtics proposal grants Grant Williams new home

Grant Williams of the Boston Celtics.
Grant Williams of the Boston Celtics. /

Grant Williams‘ future with the Boston Celtics is uncertain, as he is a restricted free agent this summer. Williams — who the Celtics drafted in 2019 — has drawn interest from a few teams around the NBA. However, because he is restricted, Boston is able to match any offer sheet submitted by another team.

That’s where a potential sign-and-trade comes in. Teams looking to pry away restricted free agents typically have to do so through trade. A potential threat to lure Williams from Boston is the Dallas Mavericks.

Due to the reported connection, Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz proposed a mock trade that would see the San Antonio Spurs help facilitate a three-team move, where Boston’s No. 12 winds up in Dallas.

A Grant-Williams-less future for the Celtics has been rumored to be dangerously realistic ever since the team traded for Kristaps Porzingis last month.

The frontcourt is all of a sudden pretty crowded, leaving the fourth-year forward’s role with the C’s uncertain.

Would the Boston Celtics give up Grant Williams for a second-round pick?

In Swartz’s hypothetical deal, the Celtics would net just a second-round pick in exchange for Williams — a player who has carved out a meaningful role in the team’s rotation since his rookie season.

Is that enough to lose a key role player who’s contributed to multiple deep-playoff runs? Probably not, it just isn’t.

According to The Athletic’s Jared Weiss, Boston is looking to garner a future first-round pick in any move sending away the former Tennessee standout.

“Boston has been seeking a first-round pick in return for Williams, according to league sources, though it’s rare for a sign-and-trade for a role player to yield that significant of a return,” Weiss explained.

Final grade for Boston Celtics three-team Grant Williams trade: B

The reason that the mock trade receives such a high grade — despite the Celtics getting next to nothing for Williams — is because it’s realistic.

Like Weiss notes, most sign-and-trade deals don’t see a huge return in exchange for the departing player.

Personally, I hate the idea of losing Williams for a second-round pick. He’s more valuable to the Celtics than that, even though he’s very easy to pick on and make fun of. There’s no disputing that the 24-year-old has played a fair role in Boston’s recent playoff success.

Of course, it’s easy to point to his 27-point performance in Game 7 of the 2022 Eastern Conference Semifinals, where he drilled seven 3-pointers to end the Milwaukee Bucks season. On top of that — even in games where he’s not doing much scoring — Williams helps the C’s with his switchability on defense and competitive mindset.