Grant Williams

Atlantic Notes: World Cup Effects, Knicks, Schröder, Porzingis

The Knicks and Nets may benefit from having star players involved in the World Cup this summer, writes Ian Begley of New York’s Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart were both starters for Team USA, while RJ Barrett was an important member of the Canadian squad that captured the bronze medal. Brooklyn’s Mikal Bridges also started for the Americans and Cameron Johnson was on the team, although he didn’t play as much.

Begley cites research from ESPN’s Kevin Pelton (subscription required), who studied the NBA performance of players from 2010 to 2021 after they took part in international competitions. Pelton found they averaged 2.1 points per 100 possessions above the league average.

At last year’s training camp, Begley talked to Evan Fournier, a veteran of international basketball with the French team, about what it’s like to go straight from a tournament to an NBA season with almost no rest in between.

“It really hits you in December; you have the first wave of fatigue,” Fournier said. “It’s not my first time dealing with it, so I know how to manage myself. I know being in the weight room is going to be very important. Sleep is going to be very important, but … I’ll be all right.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks are optimistic after advancing to the conference semifinals last season, but a lack of height at the wings could be a concern, observes Zach Braziller of The New York Post (subscription required). Apart from Barrett, New York has to rely on undersized options such as Hart, Quentin Grimes and Donte DiVincenzo.
  • Dennis Schröder told “NBA Today” that new head coach Darko Rajakovic played an important role in his decision to sign with the Raptors (Twitter link from ClutchPoints). “I think Darko, the head coach,” Schröder said. “… I met him five years ago in OKC. We became friends. … I definitely said to my agent, ‘I want be there.’ … I think it’s a great fit.”
  • The Celtics‘ trade for Kristaps Porzingis was the best offseason move in the Atlantic Division, David Aldridge of The Athletic contends in a discussion of the division with other Athletic writers. However, Aldridge, Josh Robbins and Jared Weiss all agree that Boston took a risk regarding team culture by parting with Marcus Smart in the deal and not keeping Grant Williams. Robbins and Weiss cite the Sixers‘ coaching change, replacing Doc Rivers with Nick Nurse, as the most impactful move.

Southwest Notes: G. Williams, Pelicans, Green, Morant

In an appearance on J.J. Redick’s “The Old Man and the Three” podcast, Grant Williams talked about the thrill of teaming up with Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (hat tip to Eurohoops). Williams, who was acquired from the Celtics in a sign-and-trade, is looking forward to the easy scoring opportunities that Doncic can create for him.

“Whenever you are open, he is going to find you,” Williams said. “I am excited just because he brings so much pressure and attention to himself. He does a good job of getting others involved. His growth and his next step is understanding that as much as that happens he also has to power others to play their games as well.”

Williams is part of a revamped roster in Dallas, which is hoping to bounce back after missing the playoffs last season. He will restore a defensive presence that the Mavs lacked after trading for Kyrie Irving in February, while Doncic and Irving will be counted on to power the offense.

“Kyrie has been in this league long enough that he knows how to make a tough shot and also get off the ball,” Williams told Redick. “And Luka does a good job of seeing the full court from the beginning.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The upcoming season will provide a good test of whether the Pelicans are willing to pay the luxury tax, writes Christian Clark of NOLA. New Orleans is currently about $3MM over the tax line after moving E.J. Liddell from a two-way contract to a standard roster spot. If the Pelicans remain at that figure when the tax is calculated after the end of the regular season, they will pay a $4.4MM penalty and won’t be able to share in the leaguewide distribution for non-taxpaying teams. New Orleans and 20 other clubs each received $17.3MM this summer. Sources told Clark that they believe owner Gayle Benson will eventually be willing to pay the tax, but they’re skeptical that she’ll do it this season with the Pelicans coming off a non-playoff year.
  • New Rockets head coach Ime Udoka wants to see Jalen Green start to build “winning habits,” per Michael Shapiro of The Houston Chronicle. Green has put up impressive scoring numbers in his first two seasons, but Udoka has instructed him to improve other aspects of his game. “The one thing we have stressed to him is being an all-around player,” Udoka said. “He is a natural scorer. But he has to do it on each side of the ball. He is a guy who can get anywhere on the court.”
  • Davonte Pack, a close friend of Grizzlies star Ja Morant, was arrested this week for misdemeanor assault stemming from a pick-up basketball game at Morant’s house last summer, according to Baxter Holmes of ESPN. Morant and others are involved in a civil lawsuit for allegedly striking a teenager during the game.

Atlantic Notes: Embiid, G. Williams, Stevens, Raptors

Joel Embiid has shaken up Sixers fans with comments he made during an interview at the Uninterrupted Film Festival in Los Angeles, tweets Derek Bodner of The Daily Six. The reigning MVP talked about his desire to capture an NBA title, but he raised the possibility that it may not happen in Philadelphia (video link).

“I just want to win a championship. Whatever it takes,” Embiid said. “I don’t know where that’s gonna be, whether it’s in Philly or anywhere else, I just want to have a chance to accomplish that.”

The 29-year-old center hasn’t advanced past the second round of the playoffs in his nine years with the Sixers, including a seven-game loss to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season. The team’s status as a legitimate title contender may be in jeopardy in the wake of James Harden‘s trade request.

The Knicks have been repeatedly mentioned as a potential landing spot for Embiid if he ever decides to ask the Sixers for a trade. He’s under contract for three more seasons and has a $59MM player option for 2026/27.

Whether it was his intention or not, Embiid’s comments sent a clear message to the Sixers front office that they have to handle the Harden situation correctly, observes Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice. Management can’t afford to take a step back this season, knowing that its best player might be starting to consider other options.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Grant Williams tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe that he began to realize his future was somewhere else when he and the Celtics failed to reach an agreement on a rookie scale extension last summer. “I kind of had perspective,” said Williams, who was shipped to the Mavericks in a sign-and-trade deal. “Even after the season and before the Kristaps (Porzingis) trade, I had some understanding of what I was trying to accomplish in free agency, and where I saw myself moving forward.”
  • Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens landed one first-round pick, six second-rounders and a second-round swap this summer, but he’s not intending to use most of them, Himmelsbach adds in another Boston Globe story. “The coach in me would tell you I don’t have a ton of interest in picking eight second-round picks,” Stevens said. “But eventually those are trade chips. Those are potentially good second-round picks that you can use.”
  • Rival teams are skeptical that the Raptors really plan to part with Pascal Siakam or any of their other top players, Marc Stein states in his latest Substack column. However, Stein said that after being at Summer League, he got the “distinct impression” that Toronto will explore making another significant move or two before training camp.

Southwest Notes: G. Williams, Curry, Zion, Green

Grant Williams is excited about his new start with the Mavericks, but he didn’t enjoy the process that got him there, writes Eddie Sefko of As a restricted free agent, he had to wait for offers while many of his peers got their new contracts right away. The sign-and-trade that sent Williams from Boston to Dallas didn’t become official until Wednesday.

“Very difficult. Restricted free agency is terrible,” Williams said. “Unrestricted, you have a good understanding of where you want to go, but restricted, you’re pretty much in a waiting game. You want to make sure you understand what the offers are, but also understand that teams might match or a team might be asking for more than another team is willing to give. It’s definitely an interesting process. I still think free agency is a little bit fun, but also a little bit nerve-wracking.”

Williams has been spending the last few days meeting his new coaches and teammates and getting an idea of what they expect from him this season. He’s close to getting the splint off his left hand after having surgery in June for a torn ligament.

“It’s going great,” he said of his recovery. “I should be out of it (the protective splint) in four days, five days. So pretty much back to the court and moving from then on.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Seth Curry‘s new contract with the Mavericks is non-guaranteed in the second season, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Dallas used its mid-level exception to sign Curry, who will have cap hits of $4MM in each season, instead of its $4.5MM bi-annual exception as originally anticipated, adds Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype (Twitter link). That leaves the Mavs with the bi-annual exception still intact and $5.4MM of their MLE remaining, according to Gozlan.
  • Zion Williamson‘s statements about accountability during a recent podcast appearance with Gilbert Arenas are an encouraging sign for the Pelicans, observes Rod Walker of NOLA. He notes that Williamson is only 23 and still has time to establish himself as a reliable player.
  • Jalen Green has been through a lot of losing during his first two years with the Rockets, but he believes the team is headed for a turnaround after its offseason moves, writes Michael Shapiro of The Houston Chronicle. Houston started the offseason with a coaching change, landed two projected lottery players in the draft and then upgraded its defense and experience with a series of moves in free agency. “I’m excited about what’s going to happen with us,” Green said. “We got Ime (Udoka), we got a whole bunch of vets, we got young talent. The sky’s the limit right now.” 

Celtics Notes: Brown, Porzingis, Brogdon, G. Williams, Roster

Nearly two weeks have passed since Jaylen Brown became eligible for an extension, but Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens didn’t appear worried about the situation on Wednesday night, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Stevens explained that he’s limited in what he can reveal, but he indicated that talks are going well.

“It’s been all good discussion,” Stevens said. “We want Jaylen to be here for a long, long time and we’ve made that clear. We’re looking forward to all sitting down, and we’ve got time here. I probably shouldn’t say anything else, but I feel optimistic.”

There are no signs that Boston plans to offer Brown any less than the projected $295MM he’s eligible to receive in a five-year super-max contract, Himmelsbach states. He adds that the sides have until October to finalize an extension, and the delay seems to involve the incentive structure and the possibility of a fifth-year player option for Brown like the organization gave to Jayson Tatum.

There’s more on the Celtics, all from Himmelsbach:

  • The team finalized a two-year, $60MM extension on Wednesday with Kristaps Porzingis, who was acquired from the Wizards in a three-team deal last month. Stevens said Porzingis provides numerous options for the Celtics because of his versatility. “I just think we’re fortunate to do that, a guy that can play with either of our bigs and play as the lone big,” Stevens said. “I mean, that’s a big part of what we need to be moving forward, as far as we have a little bit more balance there in that group. He’s a good player and to have him here for a few years is obviously a good thing.”
  • Stevens also provided a health update on Malcolm Brogdon, who was included in an early version of the Porzingis trade. The Clippers were originally going to acquire Brogdon, but they pulled out of the deal because they didn’t have time to review his medical records before Porzingis had to pick up his option. Stevens said Brogdon, who suffered a torn tendon in his right elbow during the Eastern Conference Finals, has been rehabbing the injury and is close to resuming basketball activities.
  • Stevens acknowledged Grant Williams‘ contributions during his four years with the team, as a sign-and-trade with the Mavericks become official on Wednesday. “I do think it’ll be a good opportunity for him and it gives us some flexibility here as we move forward,” Stevens said. “But he did a good job. He’s a hard guy to lose.”
  • Stevens indicated that more roster moves could be coming as the Williams trade creates an open spot, and Justin Champagnie and Luke Kornet both have non-guaranteed contracts. “I think we’ll try to add, obviously, a little bit,” Stevens said. “I’d like to get a little more depth, maybe on the wing, and then also maybe with a (power forward/small forward) type. I feel pretty good about our bigs. We’ve got a couple two-way (contract openings), so we’ve got some things we’re still very much looking at.”

Contract Details: Okogie, Phillips, Schröder, Williams, Stewart, Wagner

Suns wing Josh Okogie received a Non-Bird deal when he re-signed with the team, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link). Rather than earning the veteran’s minimum, Okogie will make 20% above the minimum on his new two-year contract, which includes a second-year player option. His salary in 2023/24 is $2,815,937, while his ’24/25 player option is worth $2,956,734.

As Marks notes, the Suns have now signed six free agents to two-year contracts with second-year player options — Okogie joins Keita Bates-Diop, Drew Eubanks, Eric Gordon, Damion Lee, and Yuta Watanabe in that group. The other five players received minimum-salary deals.

The offers, which include some security beyond 2023/24, may have helped the Suns land their preferred targets on the free agent market. However, they’ll also increase the club’s total salary and end-of-season luxury tax bill. As we’ve previously outlined, the NBA covers of portion of veteran’s minimum salaries for players who sign for a single season, but not for players who sign multiyear minimum contracts.

For instance, Gordon would have earned a $3,196,448 salary in 2023/24 regardless of whether he signed for one year or two. But because he received a second year, Phoenix will be responsible for paying that full salary (and the accompanying tax penalty based on that full salary). On a one-year deal, the Suns would’ve paid Gordon a reduced amount ($2,019,706), with the league making up the difference.

Here are a few more contract details from around the NBA:

  • Julian Phillipsfirst NBA contract is a four-year deal, according to Marks (Twitter link), who says the Bulls second-round pick will earn $1.6MM in year one and the minimum in the following three seasons. The deal, which was completed using the NBA’s new second-round pick exception, will include a fourth-year team option but is guaranteed for the first three years. As Marks observes, Phillips will receive the second-most guaranteed money of any 2023 second-rounders who have signed so far, behind only No. 32 pick Jalen Pickett.
  • Dennis Schröder‘s two-year deal with the Raptors is worth the full mid-level amount, Hoops Rumors has confirmed: $12,405,000 in year one and $13,025,250 in year two. Grant Williams‘ fully guaranteed four-year contract with the Mavericks is also worth the exact amount of the full non-taxpayer mid-level exception ($53,341,500 in total), though Dallas acquired him via sign-and-trade and still has its MLE available.
  • Isaiah Stewart‘s four-year, $60MM extension with the Pistons and Moritz Wagner‘s two-year, $16MM deal with the Magic each have flat annual cap hits – $15MM each year for Stewart and $8MM each year for Wagner – with team options on the final season. As previously reported, Stewart’s deal also includes $1MM per year in incentives, so it could be worth up to $64MM. Meanwhile, as part of his agreement with Orlando, Wagner waived his right to veto a trade during the 2023/24 season, becoming the third player to do so under the new CBA.

Celtics Notes: J. Brown, Jefferson, G. Williams, Banton, Madar

A fifth-year player option and a trade kicker could be among the contract details being haggled over as the Celtics and Jaylen Brown continue to negotiate a potential super-max extension, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe and Brian Robb of

Given that Brown has been the subject of frequent trade speculation in recent years and might be the odd man out down the road if the Celtics want to shake up their roster and/or reduce their payroll, the possible inclusion of a trade kicker could be a key point of contention for both sides, Robb speculates.

According to Himmelsbach, the Celtics and Brown’s camp continued to talk over the weekend and into this week, and league sources remain confident that an extension will be completed sooner or later, but one source told The Globe that “there is work to be done” still.

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • In a separate story for The Boston Globe, Himmelsbach looks at the friendship between former Duke teammates Jayson Tatum and Amile Jefferson, who is joining the Celtics’ coaching staff as an assistant for the 2023/24 season.
  • Grant Williams, whose sign-and-trade to Dallas was finalized on Wednesday, spoke to Steve Bulpett of Heavy Sports about leaving the Celtics, referring to it as a situation where “both sides just did what’s best for each.”
  • Dalano Banton, who said he’s excited to be joining a “championship organization,” wasn’t able to play in the Celtics’ first two Summer League games in Las Vegas due to a minor injury, according to Souchi Terada of However, Banton apparently plans to play in Wednesday’s game. His two-year deal with Boston isn’t yet official but will presumably be finalized shortly.
  • Celtics draft-and-stash prospect Yam Madar, a second-round pick in the 2020 draft, has signed with Turkish club Fenerbahce, per a press release from the team. It’s a two-year deal with a third-year option, though it may include NBA outs.
  • In case you missed it, the Celtics officially signed Kristaps Porzingis to his two-year extension on Wednesday.

Mavs Acquire Grant Williams In Three-Team Sign-And-Trade

JULY 12: The Mavericks, Celtics, and Spurs have put out press releases officially confirming that their three-team deal is official. The terms of the deal are as follows:

  • Mavericks acquire Williams (via sign-and-trade), the Spurs’ 2025 second-round pick, and the Spurs’ 2028 second-round pick.
  • Spurs acquire Bullock and the right to swap 2030 first-round picks with the Mavericks.
  • Celtics acquire either the Pelicans’ or Bulls’ 2024 second-round pick (whichever is more favorable; from Spurs), the Mavericks’ 2030 second-round pick, and the right to swap the most favorable of the Wizards’, Warriors’, and Pistons’ 2025 second-round picks with the Mavericks’ 2025 second-round pick.

JULY 5: The Mavericks, Celtics and Spurs are finalizing a three-team trade that will send restricted free agent forward Grant Williams to Dallas, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links).

According to Charania, the Spurs will receive Reggie Bullock and an unprotected 2030 pick swap from the Mavs, while the Celtics will receive multiple second-round picks.

Charania hears Williams will receive a four-year, $54MM contract as part of the transaction, while ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has heard (via Twitter) it’s $53MM. The deal is fully guaranteed and does not feature any options, sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

The Celtics and Mavericks will each receive two second-rounders as part of the trade, Wojnarowski reports (Twitter link). According to Adam Himmselsbach of The Boston Globe, the Celtics will also receive a 2025 second-round pick swap (Twitter link).

Interestingly, the reported figure Williams will receive is the value of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, which will be worth $53.34MM over four years. However, since the Mavs are acquiring him via sign-and-trade, they will preserve their MLE and still have “strong interest” in using it to sign restricted free agent Matisse Thybulle to an offer sheet, per Marc Stein (Twitter links). Dallas will be hard-capped at the first luxury tax apron due to the sign-and-trade, Stein notes.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks has a detailed list of the cap complications from the deal (via Twitter). The Mavs are approximately $9MM below the first apron, so they’ll have to clear some additional cap space to have access to the full MLE, which starts at $12.4MM in 2023/24.

They could open up an additional $3.4MM — the exact difference between those two figures — by releasing JaVale McGee and using the stretch provision on his contract, Marks adds. Dallas will also generate a $10.5MM trade exception, equivalent to Bullock’s outgoing salary.

The Celtics, meanwhile, will create a $6.2MM trade exception of their own, which is half of Williams’ projected salary. It would have cost Boston $40MM against the luxury tax to pay Williams’ salary, per Marks.

As for the Spurs, they’ll use some of their cap room to accommodate Bullocks’ $10.5MM salary, according to Marks, who notes they’ll have about $12.5MM in space remaining after the deal.

Himmelsbach was the first to point out (via Twitter) that Williams’ contract is right in the ballpark of what he was rumored to be seeking in an extension before the ’22/23 season started. Jared Weiss of The Athletic hears (Twitter link) the Celtics were willing to meet Williams’ asking price in the fall, but only if the deal included incentives.

Williams, 24, just completed his rookie scale contract and hit restricted free agency after four seasons with Boston. He turned himself into a valuable 3-and-D player in recent years, playing an important role in helping the Celtics make the Finals and Eastern Conference finals the past two seasons.

Since the start of ’21/22, Williams averaged 8.0 PPG and 4.1 RPG on .464/.403/.829 shooting in 156 games (44 starts, 25.1 MPG). His versatile defense was particularly essential in the postseason, and he could be a nice complementary fit next to Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, who aren’t known for their play on that end. It’s also worth noting that Williams is from Houston, about 240 miles from Dallas.

Veteran wing Bullock, 32, is another 3-and-D player who often guards top perimeter players, though his defense slipped a bit last season to my eyes (Bullock’s 116.5 defensive rating was 0.4 worse than the team’s 25th-ranked D at 116.1). He has been a rotation regular over the past two seasons for Dallas and is a career 38.4% shooter from behind the arc.

As Marks noted, paying Williams would have been exorbitantly expensive, but he will be missed. His departure seemed likely after the Celtics acquired Kristaps Porzingis and his $36MM deal in a trade. They’ll reportedly receive some draft compensation to try and recoup some value in the sign-and-trade (they were rumored to be looking for a first-round pick).

Mavs Notes: G. Williams, Kyrie, Holmes, Thybulle

The Mavericks entered this offseason aiming to get younger, more athletic, and stronger defensively, according to Tim Cato of The Athletic, who notes that swapping out Reggie Bullock for Grant Williams could help achieve a couple of those goals. Dallas pivoted to Williams in free agency after missing out on Bruce Brown and will land the restricted free agent in a sign-and-trade deal with Boston.

As Cato outlines, Williams will essentially be playing the role that players like Dorian Finney-Smith and Bullock had in Dallas last season, guarding opposing perimeter threats on defense and stretching the floor on offense.

However, Cato believes that Williams has more to offer on offense than the players he’s replacing, writing that the Mavs’ newest forward isn’t as “static” and could get an opportunity to be a secondary creator when Luka Doncic and/or Kyrie Irving are double-teamed.

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • Irving’s new three-year contract, originally reported to be worth $126MM, actually has a guaranteed base value of $120MM, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. The remaining $6MM is made up incentives that are tied to games played and team success — Kyrie can earn $1MM per year by playing at least 65 games and $1MM each year the Mavs get to 50 wins (and Irving plays at least 58 games), reports Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link).
  • Richaun Holmes waived his $1.8MM trade kicker as part of the deal that sent him from Sacramento to Dallas, per MacMahon (Twitter link). That gave the Mavericks a little extra flexibility under their hard cap for their offer sheet to Matisse Thybulle, which was matched by Portland. The Mavs’ team salary remains $10.9MM below that hard cap, according to MacMahon and Marks.
  • Thybulle will be returning to the Trail Blazers after they matched his offer sheet, but it doesn’t sound like that was his preferred outcome. On the #thisleague UNCUT podcast, Marc Stein said that ending up in Dallas was something Thybulle had “been wanting even before this summer,” and Chris Haynes agreed. “Matisse desperately wanted to be a member of the Dallas Mavericks,” Haynes said (hat tip to Ashish Mathur of

Celtics Rumors: Brown, Lillard, G. Williams, Tatum, Johnson

Just because the Celtics and Jaylen Brown didn’t immediately agree to a super-max extension once he became eligible on July 1 doesn’t mean anything is amiss, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (subscriber link). Sources tell Himmselsbach that the Celtics aren’t shopping Brown and don’t plan to low-ball him once they begin negotiating.

Himmselsbach reiterates a point that other reporters have made, that Boston might push for some incentives in the deal, but there’s still an expectation that Brown will eventually receive and sign his super-max at some point. The two sides are expected to discuss the massive extension on Friday during Las Vegas Summer League, Himmselsbach adds.

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • Boston has accumulated several draft picks via trade this offseason, leading to speculation the Celtics could be looking for a major deal. However, although the team eventually plans to cash in on its draft equity for a “seismic strike,” such a move appears unlikely this offseason, sources tell Himmelsbach.
  • According to Himmselsbach, the Celtics aren’t pursuing Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard and don’t intend to get involved in that situation unless they find something favorable as part of a multi-team deal. ESPN recently reported that Boston “expressed some interest” in the All-NBA guard.
  • While the Celtics valued Grant Williams, they recognized that his role was in flux after acquiring Kristaps Porzingis, whose acquisition came as a surprise to the organization, sources tell Himmselsbach. Williams wanted an opportunity for consistent playing time which Boston couldn’t guarantee, and that factored into Brad Stevens‘ decision to agree to sign-and-trade Williams to Dallas.
  • The Celtics are willing to exceed the second tax apron in the future and still project to be a taxpayer, but retaining Williams on the contract he received would have added $40MM to the tax bill. Boston didn’t think that made sense financially, given his uncertain role, says Himmelbach.
  • Losing Marcus Smart (as part of the Porzingis trade) and Williams will leave a leadership and toughness void, according to Himmselsbach. However, the Celtics expect stars Brown and Jayson Tatum to fill that void. The team felt the two wings deferred to Smart at times in key moments, but obviously that will change.
  • Tatum was close to Williams, but he understood the team’s decision to move the restricted free agent and is focused on improving the team’s roster, sources tell Himmelsbach.
  • Free agent forward Alize Johnson will workout for the Celtics this week, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. The five-year NBA veteran played four games for the Spurs in 2022/23.