Boston Celtics veteran big man Robert Williams III may have become expendable after signings from the past two offseasons that include Luke Kornet in 2022 and Oshae Brissett in 2023 according to NBA Analysis Network’s Kenneth Teape (h/t Yardbarker).
“If Williams doesn’t show the kind of improvement that the Celtics are hoping for, a trade could certainly come down the pipeline later,” Teape prefaced before saying, “With Oshae Brissett being signed in free agency and Luke Kornet back, Boston certainly has depth up front to make a move centered around Williams should the opportunity present itself.” Teape took the Time Lord trade dialogue a step further than what The Athletic’s Jared Weiss (subscription required) felt, which was that it was actually Kristaps Porzingis who made Williams expendable.
“Now with the arrival of Kristaps Porziņģis, someone who can do just about everything you could ask for from a big in a spaced-out offense, Williams has to evolve,” Weiss wrote. “For the first time since he emerged in Boston’s rotation, Williams could become expendable.”
Robert Williams III is not expendable at the price point Boston Celtics got him at
Williams at under $12 million in 2023-24, under $13 million in 2024-25, and under $14 million in 2025-26 is incredible value for a proven producer — with the key caveat of “when healthy” needing to be applied of course. Remember, during the 2021-22 season, the double-big duo of Williams and Al Horford helped make up the league’s best starting five by net rating alongside Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and beloved ex-Celtic Marcus Smart.
As the cap continues to explode, rookies will start costing just a few million less per season. There’s more than enough draft history to infer that many teams will be drafting less valuable players at similar price points.
Boston could rest easy knowing they got a cut-rate deal on Williams, and it happened well before massive extensions were handed out to Brown and Porzingis this summer and as they handed out a Smart extension the franchise chose not to see to its conclusion.