Robert Williams is staying put for a little while.
The Boston Celtics center, according to his agency and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, has agreed to a four-year extension worth $54 million.
While it might seem like an overpay now given Williams’ injuries and resulting trouble staying healthy, this past season he seemed on the precipice of a breakout. The Texas A&M product has become one of the game’s premier shot-blockers, is uber-athletic for his size and is great above the rim. Boston likes to use its big men to stretch the floor, and his passing ability shows he has the chance to really open things up offensively for the Celtics.
As the Celtics continue to try building a championship-caliber core, Williams very much should be part of the conversation, just beneath Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
The 23-year-old has one more year left on his current deal, so this extension won’t kick in until the 2022-23 season, meaning Williams won’t hit free agency until the summer of 2026. At that point, it’s possible he will be one of the league’s most versatile big men.
The Celtics added Al Horford and Enes Kanter this offseason, but Williams, who has been put into bigger and bigger spots each season, likely will be looked at as the top dog in the frontcourt this season.