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.