The Boston Celtics apparently didn't go above and beyond to get a new contract finalized with Grant Williams before the Oct. 17 deadline for rookie-scale contract extensions.
HoopsHype's Michael Scotto reported the team "never offered more than $50 million guaranteed over four years." Scotto previously reported in October the 6'6" forward was believed to be wanting a deal paying him $12-14 million annually.
Williams is now due to hit restricted free agency in the offseason. That allows the Celtics to match any offer sheet he signs, but they may not utilize that luxury when the moment arrives.
According to Scotto, Boston might balk if Williams is handed a deal worth $18 million or more from another team.
The 23-year-old is off to a strong start. Through 12 games, he's averaging 9.5 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 60.9 percent from the field and 50.0 percent on three-pointers. The Celtics have been 5.8 points per 100 possessions better with him on the court, per NBA.com.
Based on Scotto's reporting, the front office may not view Williams as an irreplaceable member of the rotation. The payroll moving forward is undoubtedly a factor in that calculus.
The Celtics are on track to have $149.5 million committed in 2023-24, per Spotrac, with the salary cap expected to come in at $134 million. Their cap commitment in 2024-25 falls to $111.4 million, but the figure will easily surpass $140 million if they re-sign Jaylen Brown.
Considering Williams might be playing his way into as much as $20 million on his next contract, president of basketball operations Brad Stevens could be facing a dilemma.
Williams is providing great depth in the frontcourt, and he's an ideal complementary piece for a roster built around Brown and Jayson Tatum. But the money that's required to keep him around might be better spent elsewhere when Stevens is looking at the bigger picture.