The Boston Celtics and Grant Williams did not reach an agreement on a rookie-scale extension by Monday's deadline, but the forward isn't letting frustration over the process linger heading into the 2022-23 campaign.
"When you look across the league, when you look at the role that I play 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," the NBPA vice president said, per The Athletic. "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."
He also added: "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."
The Athletic noted both sides were looking at a potential four-year deal, but Williams' quotes suggest he kept his focus on setting a better precedent for the overall market moving forward.
It leaves his long-term future with the franchise up in the air, although Boston did pick up his team option for 2022-23 and could make him a restricted free agent next offseason by extending him a qualifying offer.
That could very well be what happens as the team attempts to control the contract of a valuable role player for as long as it can.
The University of Tennessee product also isn't closing the door on a longer deal down the line.
"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," he said. "So for us, it's just a matter of perspective."
Williams may just be hitting his prime at 23 years old. He is coming off the best season of his career in 2021-22 when he averaged 7.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 41.1 percent from deep.
Yet it was his performance in the playoffs that truly underscored his worth, as he dropped double-digit points eight times during the run to the NBA Finals and provided quality defense on the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo and others.
Most notably, Williams posted 26 points, six rebounds and seven three-pointers in the Game 7 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round after scoring 21 points with six three-pointers in Game 2.
The 6'6" forward's ability to stretch the floor from the frontcourt provides matchup problems for opposing defenses, and he figures to remain an important piece of the rotation early this season with Robert Williams III sidelined after undergoing knee surgery.
If Grant Williams takes advantage of that opportunity and remains a productive piece of Boston's frontcourt, a new contract could be waiting.