Ex-Boston Celtics big in uncharted territory with new team as a leader

Indiana Pacers v Charlotte Hornets
Indiana Pacers v Charlotte Hornets / David Jensen/GettyImages

Whether fans loved or loathed his style, Grant Williams left an undeniable mark on the Boston Celtics with his fiery approach on and off the court. Though financial constraints led Boston to part ways with Williams, his immediate flameout at his next destination was unanticipated.

Williams didn't even make it through the first season of his four-year/$53M deal with the Dallas Mavericks, as he could never provide the wing depth needed alongside Luka Doncic. The Mavs, searching for a spark, dumped the struggling Williams to his hometown Hornets in exchange for P.J. Washington.

MassLive's Souichi Terada thinks Williams found the most suitable place to suit his interests as a big fish in a small pond.

"Williams is in uncharted territory with the rebuilding Hornets," Souichi wrote. "Even with the Mavs, the expectation was to at least be a playoff contender. That's not the case in Charlotte, where it's deep in a rebuild and looking to break out. But Williams will get to be a veteran voice in the locker room, and that's an area he'll likely enjoy to help out his hometown squad."

Grant William's Hornets revival proves he isn't a fit for the Boston Celtics

Williams has a vibrant personality known for his animated gestures and constant bombardment of referees. That behavior is easier to digest when you're a superstar like Jayson Tatum. When it's Grant William's, it comes off much more immature and aggravating. That's seen him butt heads with his coaches and teammates, and allegedly the reason his time in Dallas was cut short.

Williams's attitude in Boston and Dallas overshadowed what he could accomplish on the floor. When teams have championship aspirations, they can't have role players' antics so magnified. The Golden State Warriors shipped Jordan Poole to the Washington Wizards when the balance between his play and awful body language languished. Distractions kill camaraderie.

Charollete allows Williams to be the veteran voice he has yearned for throughout his career. He's one of only two players on the roster with Finals experience and knows what it takes to win at a high level. His voice can finally resonate now that he's in a place where he is seemingly better than many of his peers.

In his first three games with his new club, the Hornets are 3-0. Williams' impact has transcended his sixth-man role, demonstrating his ability to contribute meaningful minutes in crunch time. His best moments stem from bullying smaller defenders on the low block or as a three-point sniper in transition.

The shenanigans aren't going to go away anytime soon. In the Hornets' matchup against the Pacers, Williams went right at former Celtic teammate Aaron Nesmith. The pair jawed back and forth before Williams hit him with the "too small" gesture after finishing a tough bucket down low. His most recent matchup against the Hawks featured Williams jumping up and down while screaming that a kicked-ball violation caused a Hornets turnover. This display led officials to overturn the initial call—a sign of good fortune Williams likely didn't receive a few weeks ago.

Being near where he grew up, away from the national spotlight, and on a team with little to play for is the perfect set of circumstances for Williams to mature. If he came with a fresh perspective and a finer grasp of his role, his return to Boston would be a welcome sight.

His current form is entertaining, but the real question is whether he can put all the pieces together.