Robert Williams III, Celtics Agree to 4-Year, $54 Million Contract Extension

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 20, 2021

BROOKLYN, NY - MAY 25: Robert Williams III #44 of the Boston Celtics dunks the ball against the Brooklyn Nets during Round One Game Two on May 25, 2021 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Center Robert Williams III has agreed to a four-year, $54 million extension with the Boston Celtics, his agent told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Williams was heading into the final year of his rookie contract and has a $3.66 million salary for 2021-22.

The 23-year-old has started only 16 of his 113 career games in the NBA, 13 of which came in 2020-21. He finished last season averaging 8.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in only 18.9 minutes per game across 52 appearances.

Despite modest statistics, Williams has proved to be efficient on both ends in his limited playing time. He ranked second on the Celtics last season with 5.3 win shares, per Basketball Reference, behind only Jayson Tatum and ahead of All-Star wing Jaylen Brown.

Williams' 72.1 field-goal percentage would have led the NBA if he had enough attempts to qualify.

With a new average salary of $13.5 million per year, Williams will now rank 12th in the NBA in average salary among centers.

The extension could represent a vote of confidence amid a sudden logjam in the frontcourt.

Boston traded away Tristan Thompson this offseason but re-acquired fan favorite Al Horford in a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The squad also signed Enes Kanter after he averaged a double-double last season with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Kanter previously helped Boston reach the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals, while Horford reached that round twice with the Celtics. Both should play significant roles in 2021-22 as well as the team looks to return to contention.

It will be up to new Celtics head coach Ime Udoka to determine how to divvy up minutes between Horford, Kanter and Williams.