Celtics

Kevin O'Connor: Grant Williams trade is 'definitely possible'

Celtics

Will Wednesday night mark Grant Williams' final game with the Boston Celtics?

Williams, a restricted free agent after the 2022-23 season, has been the subject of trade rumors ahead of Thursday's deadline. Teams reportedly have called the Celtics about the fourth-year forward, though it's unclear whether Boston has any interest in moving him.

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Nonetheless, it appears there is a chance Williams is traded before 3 p.m. on Thursday. Danilo Gallinari and Payton Pritchard also have been mentioned as a possible package deal for an upgrade at the center position, though Williams would be the more valuable asset.

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor shared his take on whether a Williams trade is realistic during Wednesday's Early Edition.

"It's definitely possible. They've received a lot of calls about him in recent weeks," O'Connor said. "And with Grant Williams becoming a restricted free agent, he might want upwards of 16, 17, 18 million dollars. That might not make the most financial sense for Boston to invest in him moving forward considering his role on the team.

"You would have to give up more than Gallinari and Pritchard to get somebody like (Jakob) Poeltl back. Grant Williams is about the equivalent of a first-round pick in terms of value in return, so he would make sense as somebody to plug into that deal or something else out there in return for him before he hits the market this offseason."

 

Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe named another player the Celtics might be able to acquire in a Williams deal.

"I think a guy that they could get for Grant is PJ Washington from the Charlotte Hornets," Washburn said. "PJ Washington is in the same situation as Grant. He's a restricted free agent this summer. Charlotte has to save money. ... And Grant is from Charlotte. The Celtics could use that potentially, and let's say they want to sign PJ Washington for the long term at maybe less than the $18 million that Grant is asking for. It could be an economic decision just as well as a basketball decision.

"I think Grant obviously is a fixture in the locker room, he's very popular. His production has gone down in recent months after that really hot start. But I do think he's a valuable player and he's valuable around the league. So I do think they could get something, but they could get someone who they can have beyond this season for Grant as opposed to a rental player. Because Grant, he's gonna want a major extension this summer."

Washington, 24, is averaging 14.7 points per game this season for Charlotte. Williams is averaging 8.6 points per game and has slumped over his last seven contests, averaging 5.3 points on 35.3 percent shooting in that span.

Despite those struggles, Williams brings value to the Celtics as one of the most well-liked players in the locker room. That undoubtedly will come into play as Brad Stevens weighs his options up until the deadline.