In an ideal world, Grant Williams would be under contract with the Celtics for the next several seasons. He and Boston couldn't agree to terms on a contract extension before the 2022-23 regular season, however, meaning he's set to become a restricted free agent next summer.
During an interview with The Athletic's Shams Charania, Williams admitted it was a "disappointment" not to get an extension done but said there could be a silver lining in how things played out.
"You know how much you've worked. You let your work show, and who knows? You might be able to get a better deal than you were in the contract negotiations in the first place," Williams said. "For me, that's the confidence that I have walking into it. You let your craft show where you are and where you will be in the future."
When asked if he's entering this season with a chip on his shoulder after not getting an extension done, Williams replied:
"Yeah. There's always going to be a chip on my shoulder, though. The chip on my shoulder has never gone away. ... That's how I approach every single day. It's like, 'If you doubted me, good for you.'"
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Williams is a very confident player, which helped him develop into a key rotation piece for Boston. He struggled to crack the rotation in his first two NBA seasons and famously missed his first 25 3-point attempts as a rookie, but he didn't lose faith in himself and was rewarded with a role as a reliable 3-and-D option.
Williams flourished in the 2022 postseason, playing strong defense against superstars like Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo and scoring 27 points in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals to help Boston advance to the next round.
That play should help Williams earn a substantial raise from his four-year, $11.8 million rookie deal, and Williams clearly feels he deserves it. His comments suggest he wants to stay in Boston, so it's worth watching whether he and the Celtics can find common ground in the 2023 offseason.