The Boston Celtics added the best player from the SEC the past two years to their frontcourt rotation Thursday when they selected Tennessee's Grant Williams with the No. 22 overall pick of the 2019 NBA draft.
Here is a look at the Celtics roster following this draft pick.
Check out B/R NBA draft expert Jonathan Wasserman’s scouting profile on Williams.
Aron Baynes, C: $5.3M (2020)
Gordon Hayward, SF: $32M (2021)
Guerschon Yabusele, PF: $2.7M (2021)
Jaylen Brown, SG: $5.4M (2020)
Jayson Tatum, SF: $6.7M (2021)
Marcus Smart, PG: $13M (2022)
Robert Williams, C: $1.8M (2022)
Semi Ojeleye, PF: $1.5M (2021)
Romeo Langford, SG: $3M (2023)
Grant Williams, PF: $2M (2023)
Carsen Edwards, PG
Tremont Waters, PG
Brad Wanamaker, PG: RFA
Daniel Theis, PF: RFA
Jonathan Gibson, PG: RFA
Kyrie Irving, PG: Player option, reportedly opted out
Marcus Morris, PF: UFA
P.J. Dozier, PG: RFA
R.J. Hunter, SG: UFA
Terry Rozier, PG: RFA
Williams arrived at Tennessee as a 3-star prospect in the class of 2016, per 247Sports' composite rankings. He figured to be someone who could develop into an important contributor and solid starter but not necessarily one of the best players in program history.
He quickly earned SEC all-freshman status in 2016-17 behind 12.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks a night. He flashed what he would ultimately become with breakout games against Georgia (30 points) and Missouri (25 points) and started to put it all together by his sophomore campaign.
The 6'7" forward took a jump as the SEC Player of the Year in 2017-18 behind 15.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks a night and led the Volunteers to the conference's regular-season championship and their first NCAA men's tournament berth since 2014.
Williams was even better as a junior while spearheading a Sweet 16 run as the SEC Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons.
He averaged 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals a night as a consensus All-American and finalist for the Naismith Award and Wooden Award.
While there was some question about whether he would return for his senior season and pursue a Final Four after a stunning overtime loss to Purdue in the Sweet 16 after such an impressive yearlong effort, there was little left to prove from an individual standpoint.
His attention now turns to the NBA, where Williams could become a small-ball center with the physicality to go up against bigger opponents and the willingness to battle for the boards, attack the lane and facilitate when defenders collapse on him.
Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer listed the Tennessee product as one of the available players who share qualities with Draymond Green and suggested "he projects as a complementary offensive player who enhances his teammates with his fundamental screening, passable shooting and hyperaware playmaking. Williams lacks Draymond's wingspan, but he shares his hustle, toughness and IQ."
While living up to the standard Green has set may be a bit much to ask, the mere fact Williams is being compared to the three-time NBA champion is surely welcome news for Boston fans.