Rookie center Robert Williams is optimistic that his troublesome right knee will allow him to be ready when training camp opens September 25, relays A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Williams hasn’t been cleared yet for five-on-five drills, but he says rehab work on the knee is going well.
“I’m still taking it day by day,” Williams said. “These people [Celtics] have a lot of time, a lot of money invested in you. They don’t want to mess up what they got going. I’m thankful for the trainers and coaches.”
Concerns about Williams’ health and work ethic caused him to slip in the draft, where the Celtics found him too tempting to pass up at No. 27. Williams acknowledges that he needs to rebuild his image, which wasn’t helped when he overslept for his introductory press conference or failed to make the first Summer League practice because of a missed flight. He said he has been inspired by the example set by his teammates.
“Every morning I’m going in at 8, 8:30 [to work out],” Williams said. “Al [Horford] and [Aron] Baynes, they’re in at 6 a.m. Their workout day has ended. See that repetition every day … I learned a lot from them already.”
There’s more today out of Boston:
- Clippers coach Doc Rivers believes another successful season is the best way to convince Kyrie Irving to stay in Boston when he hits free agency next summer, Blakely writes in a separate story. “At the end of the day, I think it’ll come down to winning,” Rivers said. “I really believe that. If you win enough, they usually want to stay.”
- Jayson Tatum showed he has the talent to become a star during his rookie season, but the wealth of talent in Boston may keep him from reaching that level for a while, Blakely contends in another piece. With Marcus Morris set for free agency next summer and Irving, Horford and Baynes all with option years, Tatum’s role is likely to expand in the future.
- The desire to play for a contender was enough to keep Baynes in Boston, notes Taylor C. Snow of NBA.com. The Australian center didn’t look around much in free agency before re-signing with the Celtics for $11MM over two seasons. “It’s one of those things where I enjoy and want to be in a place where they want me as well,” Baynes said. “And that’s definitely something that I’ve felt from the front office and everyone involved.”