Atlantic Notes: Williams, Celtics, Horford, Embiid, Ujiri

The Celtics did not trade for a center but they’ll get another back in action soon. Robert Williams could return by the end of the month, according to Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston. President of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in a radio interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub that Williams, who hasn’t played since December 6 due to a hip injury, should be ready in a few weeks. “Robert Williams is progressing,” Ainge said. “He was out working on the court (Thursday). He’s starting his transition back into all the live action, and we anticipate him being back with us somewhere in the neighborhood of March 1.” Williams was averaging 3.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG and 1.1 BPG in 19 games prior to his injury.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Ainge sat the Celtics stood pat because he couldn’t find a deal that made sense, Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston reports. Ainge didn’t want to pay a premium price for a second-unit addition. “I hear people talking about why we didn’t do a deal. A lot of times people want us to get the first- or second-best player on another team,” Ainge said. “Those players are expensive and, if we brought them here, they would be the seventh-, eighth-, or ninth-best player on our team.”
  • Forward Al Horford is looking for a silver lining to the Sixers’ four-game losing streak entering Friday’s action, Malika Andrews of ESPN relays. “It’s like finding ourselves,” he said. “Trying to figure it out. I think good is going to come out of this.” Philadelphia has won just nine road games, and center Joel Embiid believes he needs to be a little more upbeat. “I’m trying to get back to the fun Joel,” Embiid said. “Smile a little more. The whole season I told myself I was going to be serious. I felt like everyone looked at [me] in a way that I’m moody or I might not care. I do. I want to win.”
  • Even though the Knicks hired Leon Rose as team president, speculation over Masai Ujiri’s future will continue to grow unless he signs a new contract with the Raptors, according to Michael Grange of SportsNet Canada. There have been preliminary discussions between Ujiri and the team’s ownership group but nothing has changed regarding the Raptors president’s desire to put off his contract status until this summer, according to Grange. Ujiri’s contract runs out after next season.
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19 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Williams, Celtics, Horford, Embiid, Ujiri

  1. dynasty in boston

    You know Horford is shaking his head, wondering “Wtf was I thinking? This place hasn’t hoisted a trophy since 1983!!!” Keep looking for answers, Al.

  2. Jkolti

    I like the humble brag by Ainge there. The 1st or 2nd best player on other teams would be his 7th or 8th best player.

      • Berger

        How do comments like yours add to any kind of intelligent dialogue? Forums like these always end up with name calling and becoming disrespectful to anyone that disagrees or has a different opinion.
        I get you don’t like Ainge. That’s fine. But calling the man a db…uncalled for.

      • Ialreadyhadsteveijustupdatedmypicbeenheresince08gimmemynameback

        I think he was just talking about their interest in Bertans, him being, ya know, the 2nd best player on the wizards while also being expensive and only being the 7th best player on this celtics squad.i wouldve said 6th, but i guess ainge values kanter or theis more so then a would be bertans. That of course is silly, but even if he had said “the 6th best” the point remains the same.

  3. Buckman

    Philly has two young stars who are competing to be the man. I doubt that one will take a backseat. I’m sure that they both have people whispering in their ears about Philly being their team. One will have to go. I would trade Embiid (who is injury prone) for a stretch 5 type who can anchor the D + more. I don’t know if that guy exists. Someone who does not need to be the focus of the offense and not clog the lane so Simmons could do his thing.

    • phillyballers

      You can’t win with just 1 good player, Raptors are not the norm.

      • Buckman

        Agreed but each one views himself as the main man because they both developed as elite players at the same time. I agree with DXC that Brown has not done a good job of handling the situation so now the chemistry is questionable. If they don’t make the Conf Championship or the Finals, Brown is gone. If they have built up enough animosity, one will have to go to restore stability. It happens (Shaq/Kobe, LeBron/Kyrie).

  4. Down with OBP

    Sure Ainge.

    Also @phillyballers – the Raptors won and are still winning with “just 1 good player”?

    • phillyballers

      A championship. Yet to be seen. They won with Kawhi, and couldn’t hang with LeBron for the rest.

      • Down with OBP

        So the regular seasons (two because K didn’t play every game) means little. Cool.

      • rap4life

        As Barkley said
        “ the Sixers are the Cleveland Browns of the NBA”
        Weak and soft

  5. Philly could at least try to build the team in a way that mitigates, not aggravates, the issues that Embid and Simmons often have sharing the court. Start by firing the HC, and then anyone else who thinks Simmons is a guard (of any kind), Richardson is a 2, or T.Harris is a 3. Then hire people who would laugh at that notion. They’ll beat the Clippers in 6.

    • ZacharyH

      I agree. And id emphasize Simmons isnt a guard and there’s no reason to play him there. His best talent is offensive rebounding. He doesn’t even do fast breaks

      • x%sure

        ?? Simmons is a “freight train” on runouts; the TV guys were laughing at that phrase; but that’s where he has the most effect.

        I am waiting to hear that Simmons has made demands to be the PG behind the scenes but no confirmation yet. The talk here is that both want to be “the man”… I kind of doubt that because it’s silly. But whatever, something is amiss. Agree with DXC.

  6. Buckman

    Simmons plays 36 per game, Joel 31 so they have to overlap 19 minutes. Brown needs to figure out those 19 then he gets 17 minutes were Ben is the focal point and 12 with Embiid as the focal point. His biggest problem is which of three lineups he closes with.

  7. formerlyz

    Celtics didnt really need much, so not surprising to see them do nothing. They could use some scoring off the bench at the guard spot, in some minutes, and a 4 that gives them some size and toughness, but they potentially have those things already in their young guys

  8. The Sixers seem completely directionless. The process has yielded nothing.

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