The Boston Celtics will lose Jaylen Brown for at least a week and as such will get a better idea of their roster’s current depth at the winger position.
According to NBC Sports Boston’s Darren Hartwell, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kenrich Williams could be the ideal addition to their rotation if the Celtics feel they could use a little more depth.
“Williams, 28, probably doesn’t fit into OKC’s remodeling plans, but he’s an excellent marksman who, at 6ft 6 and 210lbs, can also play solid defense… It might be worth picking up a flyer on Williams, who.” is low risk on a $2 million expiring contract,” Hartwell wrote.
Williams is a career 35.8% shooter from deep, but this season he’s currently converting his perimeter attempts to 2.1 attempts per game on a 43.7% clip. Additionally, the 1.80m forward is a reliable rebounder, averaging 4.5 boards per game and capable of playing a limited role off the bench or expanding his duties when called upon.
It’s unclear what the Thunder would be looking for in exchange for Williams, but since he fits into several Boston trade exceptions, it’s easy to assume that draft capital could be the primary currency in any deal.
Jaylen Brown will be out “a week or two” with a right abductor strain, according to Joe Mazzulla, who spoke to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps just before the Celtics beat the Brooklyn Nets on Jan. 12.
“I expect it’s going to be pretty short,” Mazzulla said, “probably a week or two.”
Brown’s absence will hit the Celtics hard, as his top-notch level of play was a major factor in the team climbing up the rankings to boast one of the best offensive ratings in the NBA and finish second behind the Denver Nuggets.
In over 40 games so far this season, Brown is averaging 27.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 49.8% from the field, 32.9% from deep and 79.5% from from the free-throw line – putting him in a position to make his second All-Star appearance of his career.
On January 11, Robert Williams prevailed NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg for an exclusive interview. During their discussion, Williams was asked about the leadership Mazzulla has shown since he interim took over the role of Celtics head coach, with the Louisiana native revealing he has a confrontational side that brings out the best in his team.
“Joe’s confrontational, man. He helped us develop this urge to listen to one another. He addresses all the elephants in the room as soon as he enters the room. We need that. You know what I mean? We need a coach who leads like that. It’s easy to follow someone like that… Joe will go nuts. He’ll turn you on for sure,” Williams said.
The Celtics are currently 31-12 and given Brown’s current injury status, Boston will need Mazzulla to keep motivating his players so they focus on taking things one game at a time.