Posted on: July 6, 2023, 02:47h.
Last updated on: July 6, 2023, 03:33h.
The Dallas Mavericks acquired forward Grant Williams from the Boston Celtics in a sign-and-trade and multiteam deal that also includes the San Antonio Spurs. The Mavs add a versatile and defensive-minded forward with Williams, and the Celtics continue to assemble a potential championship squad during a highly active offseason.
The Spurs acquire forward Reggie Bullock and a protected first-round pick swap in 2030 from the Mavs as the third team in this deal. The Celtics will acquire two second-round draft picks for sending Williams to the Mavs.
Williams, 24, signed a new four-year contract worth $54 million with the Mavs as a part of the sign-and-trade with the Celtics. He recently underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left hand after the Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs.
The Celtics posted a 57-25 record under rookie head coach Joe Mazzulla, who guided them to the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs last season. The #8 Miami Heat knocked out the Celtics in the conference finals.
Heading into next season, the Celtics are +215 odds and the betting favorite to win the Eastern Conference championship for a second time in the last three seasons.
The defending champion Denver Nuggets are the consensus favorite to win the 2023-24 NBA championship at +475 odds and run it back next season. The Celtics are the second championship favorite on DraftKings’ NBA futures board at +500 odds.
Celtics, Williams Part Ways After 4 Years
The 6-foot-6 Williams played his collegiate ball at Tennessee. The Celtics selected him with the #22 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. During his four-season stint with the Celtics, Williams started 58 games, including 23 games this past season.
Williams saw a gradual increase in playing time in every season, which was reflected in his scoring average. He logged approximately 26 minutes of court time per game this season while setting career highs in points, rebounds, and assists.
Williams averaged 8.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game off the bench as part of the Celtics’ second unit. He shot 39.5% from 3-point range in 2022-23, and he’s a career 37.9% shooter from downtown, including 43% on corner treys.
Williams had several big moments in individual playoff games during the last four seasons, including a career-high 27 points and seven 3-pointers against the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2022 playoffs.
A streaky Williams lacked consistency in the postseason, which is one of the primary reasons why the Celtics decided to let him go.
The Celtics recently signed Indiana Pacers swingman Oshae Brissett to bolster their bench, and he’ll replace Williams in the rotation.
Stevens Shuffles Deck with Another Trade
Celtics general manager Brad Stevens has been very active this offseason. He traded guard Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies in a three-team deal that included the Washington Wizards sending center Kristpas Porzingis to the Celtics.
Stevens attempted to trade the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year Malcolm Brogdon to the Los Angeles Clippers in the original deal for Porzingis. The Clippers declined the Brogdon trade due to his health status. Stevens quickly pivoted and dealt Smart to the Grizzlies in order to acquire Porzingis from the Wizards.
Stevens is still interested in trading Brogdon. The Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves are on the shortlist of possible trade partners. The Celtics would love to add forward OG Anunoby if the Raptors decide to trade him for a package deal that includes Brogdon. There’s also chatter that the Timberwolves could send veteran point guard Mike Conley to the Celtics in exchange for Brogdon.
The Celtics were also mentioned in trade rumors involving Portland Trail Blazers All-Star guard Damian Lillard even though he asked to be traded to the Miami Heat. The Celtics are +550 odds to add Lillard in a trade, according to DraftKings. They’re the second-highest team on the prop betting board behind the Heat.
Stevens and the Celtics have been slow to make a deal with starting guard Jaylen Brown. They have yet to finalize Brown’s supermax contract extension worth $295 million.
Williams Joins the Bounce-Back Mavs
The Mavs advanced to the Western Conference finals in 2022, but they missed the playoffs in 2023 and failed to even qualify for the play-in tournament.
The Mavs gave up three draft picks and a couple of role players to acquire point guard Kyrie Irving in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets last February. The move backfired and they missed the playoffs. Irving and Luka Dončić failed to develop instant chemistry, and the Mavs were only 5-11 in the 16 games they played together.
Irving wanted the Los Angeles Lakers to sign him this offseason, but the Lakers didn’t want his services. Few other teams were interested in Irving, which is why he had no choice but to sign a three-year deal with the Mavs worth $126 million.
By acquiring Williams, the Mavs added a formidable 3-and-D player to their starting lineup as a solid compliment to Dončić and Irving. Williams is currently recovering from hand surgery, but he’s expected to return to full strength by the time the Mavs begin training camp.
The Mavs recently added shooting guard Seth Curry via free agency and signed veteran guard Dante Exum. They have enough cap space to sign another veteran through a mid-level exemption. They signed an offer sheet with forward Matisse Thybulle, but the restricted free agent will return to the Portland Trail Blazers after the Blazers matched the Mavs’ offer.
At the 2023 NBA Draft, the Mavs selected Duke center Dereck Lively II and Marquette forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper in the first round. They also acquired center Richaun Holmes from the Sacramento Kings in a draft-night trade.
The Mavs are +1200 odds to win the Western Conference crown next season, and they’re +2200 odds to win the 2023-24 NBA championship.
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