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Grant Williams Celtics

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

The Celtics Should Pay Grant Williams

Grant Williams Celtics
The Celtics should pay Grant Williams and it really shouldn’t be an argument against it. Why hasn’t Boston gotten an extension done already? (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

The Celtics Should Pay Grant Williams

Grant Williams wants his money and it’s hard to really blame him. No, the pure stats for Williams aren’t off the charts but you know his value if you watch the games. It’s hard to really put a price tag on guys like him and Marcus Smart. If the Celtics are smart they will find a way to pay Williams.

People suggesting that $20 million per year for Williams is a non-starter just aren’t educated. Just not really any other way to put it. When it comes to sports contracts, the longer you wait, the more expensive the price tag becomes. The price tag never really goes down on these sort of things.

Six months ago everyone thought Jalen Brunson was an overpay. Now he’s a borderline All-Star and the Mavs are being blasted for not ponying up when they had the chance. That’s how this stuff works. The cap is only going up and if $20 million per year is the going rate then the Celtics need to swallow their pride and pay up.

Based on production you can look at any of the number of contracts Draymond Green has signed over the years and call them overpays. Maybe they are. It also is an irrelevant point. I am in no way saying that Grant = Draymond. What I am saying is that he is Boston’s version of Draymond and letting him leave is a much uglier alternative.

Williams, 24, is averaging 8.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 28.0 minutes per game. The former Tennessee product continues to evolve and improve as a shooter over time. This season Williams is shooting 46.4 percent from the floor, 41.0 percent from 3-point range and 83.0 percent from the free-throw line. As Diamond mentioned in his news post yesterday, Williams ranks in the 88th percentile (for his position) in 3-point efficiency, including in the 92nd percentile on corner triples. Those guys don’t grow on trees.

On an extension, the Celtics would essentially be paying for Williams’ age 25, 26, 27, and 28 seasons. We’re not talking about paying a declining player. We’re talking about paying a going rate on a player that’s about to enter his prime. Somehow people are arguing about the fact of whether the Celtics should be buying the most important years of Williams’ career.

The Celtics are paying the tax for the first time this year. Any argument for not paying Williams starts with greed from an ownership perspective. If the argument for not paying Williams is to reduce the tax bill, then the Celtics have made it clear they don’t care about winning. I don’t think anybody wants that.

You can’t put a price tag on half the things that Williams does. He’s a glue guy playing 28 minutes a night on the team with the best record in basketball. That’s not something you take for granted. Williams not only provides proper floor spacing but he’s also a pain in the ass to play against. Williams cares and wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s also the one guy willing to be annoying to the refs in order to get a call later. Whether it be drawing charges or moving screen calls, Williams does his part to win extra possessions that the box score doesn’t account for.

What exactly is the worst-case scenario here? In some odd alternate universe, Williams takes a step back while in the middle of his prime. Even if that were to happen, Boston then has a $20 million trade chip to further improve the roster. Losing the cap slot in a potential trade is probably the most consequential part of losing Williams. If the Celtics were to move on, his salary is a great piece to match salaries. Something you have to do now that you’re over the cap.

The Celtics have to pay Grant Williams and anyone willing to argue otherwise simply isn’t educated on how the CBA works. Signing Williams would make him the 4th highest paid Celtic on the roster. If Williams were to take a hair cut on that and drop it down to $18 million per year, that would make him the 6th highest paid Celtic. Frankly, I’m not sure why this extension hasn’t been signed already. The longer you wait, the more the price goes up. That’s how life works. Get it done now before Brad Stevens creates a mistake he can’t come back from.


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