Traded Boston Celtics role player being given up on by current team would be surprising

Feb 3, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) drives to the
Feb 3, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) drives to the / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks landing former Boston Celtics role player Grant Williams would be surprising according to MassLive's Brian Robb -- who sees specifically the possibility of the Dallas Mavericks giving up on Williams so soon as the reason.

"Williams would provide the Bucks with a more versatile defensive option for a big man under new coach Doc Rivers but it would be a surprising move to see Dallas give up on him just eight months into his new deal," Robb wrote. "A potential trade to Milwaukee would certainly spice up a potential Celtics-Bucks postseason series even more."

The possibility of a Williams-Bobby Portis swap was first floated by Marc Stein at Substack.

Grant Williams for Bobby Portis swap may benefit Boston Celtics

Portis represents something the Celtics don't currently have on their roster: an enforcer type who will get in the weeds and go to battle if an opposing team puts his star teammates in harm's way. If he were to leave the east's consensus No. 2 team -- most certainly with Joel Embiid injured and the Miami Heat unraveling to the point a Jimmy Butler trade feels possible --, there would be less of a void for Boston when it comes to finding their own Portis-type.

Williams is still not a full-time starter level talent, so the Bucks would be downgrading in talent; even if a locker room cleanse could be necessary under new head coach Doc Rivers. Portis is a proven entity in Milwaukee, whereas Williams would need to take time to develop chemistry with his new teammates.

A trade from Dallas would seemingly open up the trade floodgates for Williams, whose $13.3 million average salary could end up being the MLE rate by the time his contract runs out. If the fit isn't there in Milwaukee right away, another trade would feel imminent in the offseason given Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard's championship windows.