Grant Williams of the Boston Celtics.
Last season, the Boston Celtics made it all the way to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010. They overcame a slow start, turned their season around, and managed to emerge from the Eastern Conference before falling to the Golden State Warriors in six games.
However, they’ve been busy this offseason. Brad Stevens signed forward Danilo Gallinari to a two-year deal and made a huge trade for guard Malcolm Brogdon. And while it may seem like they’re ready to head into next year, there’s still one thing hanging over their heads.
Grant Williams needs a contract extension. If they don’t extend him by October 17, he will become a restricted free agent next summer. Williams’ solid performance last year raised his asking price, and Neil Iyer of CelticsBlog believes that he could earn more than some of his teammates.
“I don’t think it’s unreasonable to give him a 4-year, $60 million extension. The cap is jumping up by $10 million in two years, and when the new TV money kicks in by 2025, it will seem like a fair deal,” Iyer wrote.
Paying Williams $15 million a season would mean he’d be earning more than Robert Williams. And while that may seem like a lot, it’s important to remember that the latter of the two Williamses had yet to play more than 52 games in a single season when he signed his latest extension.
Iyer urged fans to look past the raw numbers and instead think of Williams’ potential earnings as a percentage of the salary cap.
Think of Williams’ Contract as Percentage
The NBA is growing larger in terms of influence every day, and in turn, the salary cap is constantly increasing. Because of that, some fans are blissfully unaware of how much it costs to sign players nowadays. Iyer said that people should think of numbers as percentages of the cap rather than plain salaries.
“On the surface, paying Grant Williams $15 million per year seems steep. But it’s counterproductive to look at the sticker prices. Instead, we should look at percentages of the salary cap, and $15 million is 11 percent of 2023-2024’s $134 million cap.
“By comparison, when Marcus Smart signed his 4-year, $52 million contract in 2018, that was 13 percent of the cap, and Avery Bradley’s 4-year, $32 million contract from 2014 was 12 percent. If the cap goes over $150 million, Grant’s contract will be under 10 percent, and he’ll join Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams as having one of the best deals in the NBA,” Iyer explained.
He also believes that Williams has a chance to outplay his upcoming deal.
Williams Could Outplay Extension
Last season was Williams’ best in the league so far, so naturally, his asking price shot up. However, he’s still only 23 years old, and Iyer thinks there’s a good chance that he could outplay his next contract, making his deal look like a steal.
“I hope over the next month, we get a “Grant Williams and the Boston Celtics have agreed to an extension” tweet from Shams or Woj. Even if it feels like an overpay, he might pleasantly surprise the fans by outplaying the deal, just like he did last season,” said Iyer.
We should get more news on Williams’ extension very soon, and no matter what it looks like, fans should remember to keep the numbers in perspective and wait to see how he plays. He could surprise a lot of people for the second year in a row.
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