Celtics Talk Podcast

Which teams could offer sheet Grant Williams? Former NBA exec weighs in

ESPN front office insider Bobby Marks joined the Celtics Talk Podcast to talk about the NBA offseason and more.

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One of the most interesting roster decisions the Boston Celtics have to make during the 2023 NBA offseason is whether to re-sign Grant Williams.

And if they do want to bring him back, what kind of salary range would make sense for the franchise, especially when you factor in the new CBA?

There are plenty of reasons to bring back Williams.

He set career highs by averaging 8.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game this past season. He also shot 39.5 percent from 3-point range. Williams has turned into an impressive 3-point shooter after a shaky start to his career. He's a career 37.9 percent shooter on those attempts. Williams is a versatile defender, too, with enough size and quickness to guard wings like Jimmy Butler or Giannis Antetokounmpo.

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Williams is a restricted free agent this offseason as his rookie contract expires. Rival teams that want to acquire Williams must first sign him to an offer sheet. The Celtics will have the option to match any offer sheet and retain Williams.

Which teams could be in the mix for Williams? ESPN NBA front office insider Bobby Marks recently joined NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg on the Celtics Talk Podcast. Williams' potential suitors were among many topics discussed.

"I think his number is anywhere from probably the non-tax midlevel, which is at $12.2 million -- I would say $12-14 million," Marks said. "So now you're looking at, and I'm working on an article that will come out later in the month, kind of a spending tiers, right? We have different tiers on how teams can spend here.

"So now you're looking at Houston, Orlando, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, maybe Indiana. Indiana, potentially. Those teams. Detroit? Probably not. They've got a lot of bigs. Teams with cap space. Like, what team is going to go out and make an offer sheet? I think for Houston, certainly they're going to go big-game hunting, big names here. Offer sheets are not -- we saw DeAndre Ayton last year -- teams have their cap space tied up for multiple days here (and that's not ideal for them)."

If the Celtics try to re-sign Williams, what might that contract look like?

"So I think if you're Boston, four years and $48 million (for Williams), does that makes sense for you? Because I think you could always move it down the road," Marks said. "Just because you sign a guy doesn't mean that you're stuck with him here. Do I think a team would come in and offer him $17 million or $18 million? It's a rich number, right? It's a big number here. So I think the non-tax midlevel number is probably the starter number. And then I just think there's going to be a walk away number, right? There has to be a walk away number here. I don't know if it's going to come in free agency.

"I don't know if there's a $17 million number out there unless you're a team that gets shut out from the Kyrie Irvings and the James Hardens and the Fred VanVleets. There are a handful of teams that have that $12.2 million number, the non-tax number, Cleveland and Sacramento and teams like that. Charlotte, potentially, has that number to go in and do an offer sheet, but that's the most they could do. So if you're Boston and you come in and that starting number is $12.2 million, it's not a bad number. And I know what the concern is in 2024 when a Jaylen Brown supermax could start, but it's still a pretty good number and a guy that can help you."

Williams' playing time was inconsistent during the playoffs. He was a DNP in several games through the first two rounds, in addition to not playing in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals versus the Miami Heat.

There could be more opportunities for minutes in the future, though, especially if Al Horford's workload is decreased next season. Williams could eventually take over a starting spot whenever Horford leaves.

Either way, the Celtics should try to keep Williams if the salary number makes sense. He's a valuable player on both ends of the court and has already proven to be a good fit in Boston's system.

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