How Grant Williams Felt About Not Landing Celtics Extension

'We're on the right path'


Oct 18, 2022

Grant Williams had a chance to win big before the Celtics’ 2022-23 season even started, but the forward’s opportunity ultimately ended up going by the wayside.

There was speculation that Boston and Williams might work out a contract extension before the beginning of the campaign. The sides weren’t able to find common ground, though, as Monday’s deadline came and went without a new deal for the 2019 first-rounder.

Williams spoke at length about his contract situation hours before the scheduled tipoff of the Celtics’ season opener against the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden. As a member of the NBAPA’s executive committee, Williams is in a unique spot when it comes to negotiations.

“Everyone makes the claim for life-changing money,” Williams told reporters Tuesday, per The Athletic. “And it’s a good claim to have, but it’s one of those things that you never want to take a bad deal for (anyone) around you. When you look across the league, when you look at the role that I play (as a vice president) in the players’ association, the idea is that you understand where the league is going in the future and you understand where the league is currently at. So for me it wasn’t a matter of life-changing money, it was a matter of value not only for this year but the years to come.

“I think that for both sides, we all negotiated to get to that point. And there was no ill will, there were no frustrations. It was one of those things that you just couldn’t come to terms. It doesn’t mean that a deal doesn’t get done next year, it doesn’t mean a deal won’t get done in the future. So for us, it’s just a matter of perspective. Like, I want to make sure that not only the deal that I take is something that I feel confident about, but it’s something that it doesn’t mess up the guys around me, it doesn’t mess up the market for the guys who do the things that I do.

“I feel like you look at the guys who didn’t take extensions, they’re pretty much in the same position. And for me, that’s huge, that’s valuable, because I care about every single player in this league. I care about every single player in each organization that has to deal with free agency, that has to deal with the issues that necessarily we have in this league. So we’re on the right path. We’re on the right steps. So we just have to go out there and do what we do.”

Williams also stressed that playing on his rookie deal without long-term contractual security doesn’t impact his emotions or his ultimate goal of helping the Celtics win a championship. The 23-year-old and his team will try to start the season off right Tuesday against a team it very well could meet in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
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