Recently-traded former Celtics big man Robert Williams III is someone the Warriors should be keeping an eye on, if not actively “banging at the door” to acquire after the Trail Blazers landed him in the Jrue Holiday traded with Boston — this, at least, according to Blue Man Hoop’s Peter O’Keefe.
“Determined to integrate Chris Paul and their other recent acquisitions, the Warriors appear comfortable with their roster heading into the season,” O’Keefe prefaced before saying, “But while they shouldn’t be banging on Portland’s door about Williams’ availability, they should at least be keeping an eye on his role with his new team this season.”
Williams will be in a bench role in Portland, though with the position on the Western Conference totem pole the Trail Blazers are set to occupy, Chauncey Billups may as well get experimental playing Time Lord alongside Deandre Ayton. Losing because of it isn’t consequential in the long term, and who knows? The pair may complement each other’s shortcomings perfectly.
Celtics betting on having a Robert Williams III replacement in-house
By trading away Time Lord, the Celtics front office is hoping that his replacement is one of the minimum-contract guys under contract currently. Two-way contract-holder Neemias Queta is an energetic high-flyer in the same vein as the lob-finishing Williams, while Wenyen Gabriel offers a more contact-ready post option on an Exhibit 9 contract.
Of course, the player most likely to take on Williams’s minutes is Luke Kornet; who’s been on the roster since February 2022 but was part of the 2021 trade deadline Daniel Theis deal with the Bulls.
Kornet, famous for the “Kornet Kontest” during the 2022-23 season, is now the de facto backup 5 should Joe Mazzulla opt for a double-big starting lineup but is the only veteran insurance the team has in the event of a worst-case scenario for Kristaps Porzingis given his somewhat questionable health in recent seasons.