The Boston Celtics reportedly have "optimism" they'll agree to a contract extension with power forward Grant Williams ahead of the NBA's Oct. 17 deadline.
Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports reported Tuesday the sides haven't talked since earlier in the offseason and there are no further discussions currently scheduled, but one source involved in the process believes the deadline may spur action in the coming weeks.
"You don't know sometimes until you get down to the final few days," the source told Deveney.
Williams has steadily developed into a highly effective role player for the Celtics, who selected him with the 22nd overall pick in the 2019 draft.
The former University of Tennessee standout is coming off a 2021-22 season where he averaged 7.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 threes across 77 games (21 starts). He shot 47.5 percent from the field, including 41.1 percent from beyond the arc.
His combination of outside shooting and strong defense—plus-2.7 defensive RAPTOR across three NBA seasons, per FiveThirtyEight—makes him an ideal fit for a stretch 4 in the modern game.
Williams is expected to seek a four-year extension in the range of $55-60 million while using the leverage of there being an "influx of teams under the salary cap and able to present contracts of greater value than what the Celtics can give" next summer, per Deveney.
The 23-year-old North Carolina native would be a restricted free agent next offseason, giving Boston the ability to match any offer sheet he received.
In July, the 6'6'' forward said he hoped the sides could agree on an extension before that potential foray into free agency.
"I think both parties are hopefully mutually understanding that we want to get this thing done and make sure that we come together and have a successful next few years," Williams told reporters. "Because I love Boston, I love the fact that I not only get to be there and be around the team that I'm with, cause I have great relationships with the guys. But I also just love the city and being able to live there."
The Celtics are scheduled to open training camp next week ahead of their Oct. 2 preseason opener against the Charlotte Hornets. It wouldn't be a surprise to see contract talks heat up in the near future, though it might take until the deadline to strike a deal.
Williams is once again ticketed to serve as a key frontcourt reserve behind the starting tandem of Al Horford and Robert Williams III for the reigning Eastern Conference champions.