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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Cameron Tabatabaie

Celtics trade rumors: Could Boston move Grant Williams ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadeline?

Each season the days and weeks leading up to the NBA trade deadline see a deluge of news stories, headlines, and tweets where gossip and speculation become fused with more measured reporting. It can be hard to keep track of it all, and even harder to parse fact from fiction.

NBA front offices certainly do their due diligence and all sorts of calls and conversations are being had. But whether or not they lead to anything substantial is another question. In recent days the trade rumors concerning Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams have swirled. Are the defending eastern conference champions looking to move on from their 3-and-D specialist?

Here’s the latest intel on discussions being had concerning Williams ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

Could the Celtics trade Grant Williams?

At present, most intel suggests both Boston and Williams are anticipating coming to terms on a new contract this summer. Although the two parties did not agree to an extension, it still remains likely Williams re-ups with the Celtics in the offseason.

Williams, 24, is one of Boston’s top individual defenders and, increasingly, one of the most potent shooters in the NBA. He helped the Celtics contain Kevin Durant, Giannis Antentokounmpo, and others last postseason, and is shooting a solid 41.4% from 3 on the year.

That doesn’t mean the Celtics are refusing calls on Williams, though.

According to Keith Smith from CelticsBlog, one source believes Boston could make a move given the right offer. “Brad (Stevens) will move Williams if he can get a comparable player that’s under team control for a couple more years.” the source told CelticsBlog.

Williams will seek a multi-year contract with an annual salary of $15-20 million in the summer. If Boston believes it ultimately won’t be able to match this number, perhaps the team will be proactive in finding a replacement for Williams.

Again, making and taking calls doesn’t mean anything is imminent, just that teams are weighing all of their options. That Williams is a major part of the Celtics’ locker room and Boston community certainly makes any trade a little more weighty.


Williams has logged 18 starts for the Celtics this season and still sees plenty of playing time. But his role is a little inconsistent and unclear on any given night. He’s too small to be the coveted backup big folks in Boston are seeking, and he’s a little too big to be a full-time wing player.

Jared Weiss and Jay King of the Athletic reported that this versatility may prompt Boston to find a player to compliment Williams rather than replace him. The Celtics may instead try to find a good stand-in for the injured Danilo Gallinari.

According to Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston, opposing teams have indeed reached out about a possible Williams trade.

Certainly, Williams has proven himself a worthy contributor to a championship run, but other franchises may be simply getting a jump on next season’s roster building.

The Grant Williams noise is real because teams are making calls and kicking the requisite tires on all sorts of moves this week. Unless Boston gets a mammoth offer or seeks out a larger trade, however, expect Williams to remain a member of the Celtics this week and beyond.

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