The Boston Celtics got quite the steal in Robert Williams with the 27th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Williams was projected as a lottery-level talent, but slipped due to some concerns about his motivation. And while the C’s already have fallen victim to some of the rookie’s mental lapses, they remain excited about what he brings to the floor.
The Celtics are loaded with talent at every position, meaning it’ll be a grind for players to earn minutes. Which begs the question, how do the Celtics plan on using the 20-year-old?
In a Q-and-A with Boston Sports Journal’s Brian Robb, C’s director of player personnel Austin Ainge gave a little insight while expressing excitement that Williams fell to them.
“The biggest advantage is he fell to where we were,” Ainge said. “Experience always helps. Experience and age is always a benefit. We’re going to put him in a little bit different situation than he had at (Texas) A&M. Through no fault of the coaches, they just had great bigs and lots of bigs. We’re going to play him almost exclusively at the 5 and we think he’s going to take advantage of it. We think he’s going to be able to show more in the NBA game than he was able to in college. It’s going to take some time and some work.”
By using Williams at the five, he’ll be able to pair nicely with Aron Baynes and Daniel Theis. He was used more as a forward in college, but he has the build to play the five, which will accentuate some of his strong suits — plus whatever else the Celtics think they can tap into.
He can play like a true center, doing a fine job clearing the lane and grabbing rebounds. His game will need some refining and tailoring at the NBA level, but that is nothing unusual.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images