Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens chatted with reporters in Las Vegas on Wednesday night. During the interview, Stevens took some time to highlight how healthy All-Defensive center Robert Williams has been feeling so far this summer.
“He hasn’t had a summer of good health in a while, but right now, he feels really good,” Stevens said, per Taylor Snow. “So we’re looking forward to him building off that.”
Health has been a major question surrounding the big man for the better part of his career. Williams missed a large chunk of last season as part of the recovery process for a surgery to his left knee. He appeared in just 35 regular-season games for the Celtics in the 2022-23 campaign, averaging 8.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game.
The year prior, the 25-year-old had the best season of his young career. He was healthy, appearing in 61 of Boston’s 82 games. He was also named to the NBA’s all-defensive second-team. Williams’ defensive ability played a major role in the way that the Celtics turned around that season. Their defense helped propel them to a monster second-half, eventually resulting in an NBA Finals run.
What will Robert Williams’ role with the Boston Celtics be next season?
Williams finds himself in a bit of a strange spot, after the Boston Celtics’ big trade for Kristaps Porzingis. The Latvian big man comes to town as a shoo-in to be a part of Boston’s starting five.
What does that mean for the Timelord?
Well, it most likely means that he’ll be coming off of the bench. Veteran big man Al Horford has come off the bench just 11 times in his 16-year NBA career. It doesn’t make too much sense for him to start at the beginning of next season. His complimentary game makes him a great fit next to Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and now Porzingis.
As for Williams, his more exciting and energetic style of play makes him a better fit for a reserve role. He’ll be well suited to check into games and give Boston a boost.
That doesn’t mean he can’t find his way into the starting lineup at some point in the upcoming season. But, it’s tough to imagine he’ll edge Horford out of the final starting spot right away.