Saturday, June 25, 2022

Celtics are pushing to give the key role player a massive pay raise this offseason

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Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown may be the stars of the Boston Celtics, but they’ve needed a lot of help this postseason. The Bostons’ supporting cast played a big part in this year’s playoff run. While guys like Al Horford and Marcus Smart were great, Grant Williams was the best speech of the city.

The third-year forward has been developing a lot lately. Williams is averaging 11.3 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 44.2% from the field and 43.1% from deep in the postseason. And according to an anonymous league source, his improved game could land him a big payday.

An Eastern Conference GM spoke to’s Sean Deveney about William’s upcoming contract extension talks. He stated that the Celtics “should give Grant Williams about $45 million to $50 million (over four years).”

Those numbers would make Williams one of the best role-playing players in the league. Others making around $10 to $13 million a season include the Sacramento Kings’ Richaun Holmes, the Portland Trail Blazers’ Josh Hart, and Williams’ teammate Robert Williams.

The 23-year-old forward has been working hard towards his upcoming payday while earning the trust of his team-mates.

Williams was the hero of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Boston went seven games against reigning champions Milwaukee Bucks. In Game 7, where everything was on the line, Williams rose to a game-high 27 points.

He took 18 three-pointers during the competition and hit seven of them. After the competition, head coach Ime Udoka Williams shared his message, saying that the team had just told him to keep shooting.

“I told him let him fly. They respect you more tonight than they did earlier in the series,” Udoka revealed. “And that was a plan for him and other guys. Really shifting and getting them to try and beat us. You saw it on the first one he did and then he missed a few and got a little hesitant. And I basically said shoot the ball like, what else can you do?

The team clearly believes in Williams, and after Game 7 he spoke about how much that vote of confidence motivated him.

After his historic Game 7 performance, Williams said he didn’t have time to think things over. His team’s unwavering belief gave him the confidence to keep going, and in the end that mentality paid off.

“It’s hard to get your head around when your entire team, like 15 people, come up to you and say, ‘Let it fly, keep shooting,'” Williams explained. “So for me it was just, alright, they encourage it, might as well take advantage of it. So everyone got more comfortable over time and kept shooting. And then, I think I was joking, I shot 18, and that’s probably the most threes I’ve shot in a single game in my life.

Williams started his rookie season with a 0:25 win from three-point range, with his teammates jokingly calling him Ben Simmons. Since then, however, he has emerged as one of the top marksmen in the league. He finished this season ranked 16th in the NBA with three point percent.

Given how crucial Williams was to Boston’s playoff success, it’s no surprise he’s expected to earn a big payday. After Smart and Robert Williams were renewed last offseason, it looks like the Celtics will sign another of their recent draft picks this summer.

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