After Larry Nance Jr. agreed to a two-year, $21MM extension with New Orleans, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype talked to four NBA executives who expect Celtics forward Grant Williams to command in the range of $12-13MM per year on his own long-term deal.
However, speaking to Scotto on the HoopsHype podcast, Jared Weiss of The Athletic suggested that he wouldn’t accept less than $15MM annually on a rookie scale extension if he were Williams.
As Weiss observes, the fourth-year forward projects to have a significant role in the Celtics’ rotation with Danilo Gallinari likely out for the season, and – unlike Nance – Williams is still just 23 years old and has plenty of time to continue improving.
According to Scotto, Williams has dropped from about 280 pounds to 265, and seems poised to have a big year. If that’s the case, he could potentially exceed $15MM per year as a restricted free agent next summer should he forgo an extension before this year’s October 17 deadline.
Here’s more on the Celtics:
- On that same HoopsHype podcast, Scotto said he spoke to four executives about the Ime Udoka situation, and all four expressed skepticism that Udoka will ever coach the Celtics again.
- As the Celtics consider adding another assistant to fortify interim coach Joe Mazzulla‘s staff, one candidate to keep an eye on is Jarrell Christian, who coached the Maine Celtics last season, says Scotto. Christian has since been named Maine’s general manager, but that typically hasn’t been a full-time position, Weiss notes, with various members of the Celtics’ scouting department filling that role in past seasons.
- Even after a nightmarish September in Boston, John Hollinger of The Athletic is bullish on the Celtics’ chances of being one of the NBA’s best teams, projecting them to win 55 games and claim the No. 1 seed in the East. However, Hollinger believes the C’s will probably need a “peak” version of Robert Williams to make it back to the NBA Finals.
- While Jayson Tatum and Sam Hauser may have a good-natured difference of opinions over which player is the better three-point shooter, Tatum praised his fellow forward and stressed Hauser’s importance after Wednesday’s game. “I tell him all the time: If people left me that wide open and all I had to do was catch-and-shoot, I would make a lot more shots as well. So I tell Sam he should send me a thank you card for being on the floor together,” Tatum joked after Hauser made 8-of-13 threes in his first two preseason appearances. “Sam is obviously a great shooter and his game has come a long way. I’m happy for him. I’m happy he’s getting these opportunities, and he’s obviously making the most out of it. We’re going to need him.”