Robert Williams, Despite Off-Court Issues, Flashes Potential At Celtics Practice

Robert Williams has been a Boston Celtic for less than two weeks, but he’s already very much living up to the scouting report.

The Celtics were applauded for scooping up the Texas A&M big man with the 27th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, as many talent evaluators claimed he had lottery-pick talent.

His talent, of course, isn’t why he fell to No. 27. Williams slipped because of intangibles, and it didn’t take long for those negatives to manifest themselves. Williams missed his introductory conference call because he overslept and then missed the first day of summer league practice after he didn’t make his flight.

Not good.

But Williams got on the court for the first time Monday, and he made it clear why the Celtics were willing to roll the dice on the 6-foot-10 center with a 7-foot-6 wingspan.

“He dunks with his elbows, which is a really positive thing,” summer league coach and C’s assistant Jay Larranaga told reporters Tuesday, per the Boston Herald. “He’s been really, really good. Really focused. Picked up the points of emphasis that we had yesterday in practice really well. Seems very coachable. This is the beginning of the process for him and for the summer league team. Day 1 was good.”

Good.

Obviously, the biggest challenge for the Celtics face with Williams is making sure he maximizes his sky-high potential while minimizing the screw-ups. The latter has been an issue, sure, but it’s a work in progress. And the Celtics already are trying like hell to get that point across.

“Just accountability, which they stressed to me a lot when I first got here,” Williams told reporters Tuesday. “Just accountability and just stressing that this is a job. Things are different in college, so just knowing what you have and the opportunities are limited.”

The Celtics need Williams to realize the opportunity he has in front of him. He has the potential to be a pretty important piece on a team that’s expected to contend for an NBA title next season, but there’s a long list of players with potential who flamed out, and the onus is on Williams to make sure he doesn’t land on that list.

Thumbnail photo via Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports Images

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