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Potential NBA draft picks don't fall from a projected top-10 choice to the end of the first round for no reason, whether real or imagined. Well, that happened, with Texas A&M center Robert Williams falling all the way to the Boston Celtics at #27.

As a writer for CelticsLife, it would seem appropriate that I would write that Williams is going to the best team to properly integrate his talents into a winning situation. Well I am writing just that, and I truly believe it. So do a number of NBA analysts.

NBATV's Matt Winer stated that the drafting of Rob Williams was "amazing fortune for the Boston Celtics". Co-analyst David Aldrich agreed and added, ".. on a team that good, he doesn't have to do much so he can concentrate on a few things... The motor is the only question. It's a great pick for them."

Danny Ainge echoed Aldrich's idea by proposing (per Boston.com's Nicole Yang): “He doesn’t have to do too much out of the gate,” Ainge said. “He can do what he does well while his game evolves into something more.” That certainly is an important point. Williams is going to a structured, winning team that can gradually integrate him into its system.

Admittedly, there are a few questions about Rob's readiness to step into the Big League. He is not yet a stretch four or five (he has no 3-point shot) and his free throw shooting shows at 54%. And as Aldrich pointed out, he lacks a consistent motor.

On the plus side, Williams is big (6'9"-6'10"), long (7'6" wingspan), talented and athletic. His defensive footwork and ability to switch is high-level. He is an excellent rebounder and shot-blocker. On offense, he has great ability at finishing on lobs. But initially, it will be his rebounding, rim protection and defense that will get him floor time right away.


Just how good was Boston's choice. ESPN's Jonathan Givony gave the Celtics an A for the pick: "The Boston Celtics. I thought Robert Williams should have been a lottery pick. To get him at No. 27 -- especially considering the makeup of their roster and the fact that he might get real playing time as early as next season -- is a major coup."

ESPN's Mike Schmitz gave the choice high-upside potential: "The Celtics might have struck gold with Robert Williams if they can rev up his motor and keep him healthy. He's an ideal rim-running, lob-catching, shot-blocking, rebounding 5 in the Clint Capela mold, and the Celtics have the infrastructure and winning to help him succeed early on in his career."

I never thought Boston would have a shot at Williams without a trade to move up significantly in the draft. The fact that they acquired him without giving up anything is remarkable. Danny Ainge is never boring, and the Boston Celtics just got stronger.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America

Tom Lane 6/22/2018 07:14:00 AM Edit
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