Boston has chosen Robert Williams at pick 27 tonight, their first and only selection in this year’s draft. Throughout the day, rumors flew concerning the Celtics trading up to select in a lottery pick. However, Danny Ainge decided to stay put at the end of the first round.
Williams is a big from Texas A&M. At 6’9 and 237 pounds, he primarily played the four spot in college, but will likely play the center position in the NBA. Williams is freakishly athletic with a massive 7’6 wingspan. He’s a stupendous shot blocker, and will add to the team’s already stifling defense. His offensive game is in development, but at his size, he should be able to play well around the rim.
Multiple sources said that Williams could have been selected with a lottery pick. However, concerns about his work ethic reportedly detracted from his stock. He was also suspended for the first two games of the season by A&M for an unspecified violation of team rules. There was some uncertainty surrounding the health of his knee as well. However, his ceiling is high, and if he puts in the work he could contribute in his rookie season, much like the last two first-round selections before him.
What It Means for the Team
Williams obviously won’t start this year ahead of Al Horford. However, this selection puts the jobs of Aron Baynes and Greg Monroe in jeopardy. Monroe’s future in Boston was already uncertain, and this move now makes him seem to be the odd man out. Baynes’ role seems more secure. As of this writing, Keith Smith reports that the Celtics still are fixated on resigning him. However, should the team decide that they want to go a new direction, Baynes could also find himself with a new team. It is also possible that Williams could be included in a trade package come July. With so many big names in play, Williams’ value could prove tantalizing to other teams.
Source: Drafting of Robert Williams has no impact on the Celtics intention to re-sign Aron Baynes. "We still intend to have Aron back in Boston and he's told us this is where he wants to be."
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) June 22, 2018
For now, however, Brad Stevens will work hard to fit him right in with the already cohesive unit. It is likely that WIlliams’ first appearance in a Celtics jersey will come during the 2018 Summer League. He will wear number 44, the jersey last worn by fan favorite Brian Scalabrine. Hopefully, fans will become drawn to the new teammate in the same way. Welcome to Boston, Robert Williams!
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