The Boston Celtics stood pat on draft night and they were rewarded immensely for their patience after Robert Williams fell all the way to No. 27. The former Texas A&M center was projected to be selected from anywhere in the late lottery to the middle of the first round
However, there were some concerns about his work ethic and conditioning during the pre-draft process. Those concerns, coupled with questions about his knee, resulted in Williams slide during the draft.
Nonetheless, Williams might've fallen into a perfect situation. He'll be able to learn from veterans like Al Horford, Kyrie Irving, and Gordon Hayward. Williams can also talk to Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum about what it takes to have success early in his career.
Source: Drafting of Robert Williams has no impact on the Celtics intention to re-sign Aron Baynes. "We still intend to have Aron back in Boston and he's told us this is where he wants to be."
Despite Boston potentially selecting their center of the future, they are still dead set on re-signing Aron Baynes. The New Zealand native would be another player that Williams can get advice from about playing at the NBA level. Baynes is also another great role model who the young big can rely on.
The Celtics want all of Australia back in Boston
Baynes turned down more money from the Detriot Pistons in 2017 to join the Celtics and he flourished. The 31-year-old center was steady alongside and in relief of Horford. We also saw Baynes start helping spread the floor in the playoffs from deep.
After making just one three-pointer over his five-year career prior to signing with Boston, Baynes knocked down three triples during the regular season and 11 in the playoffs. Even more impressive, he shot 14.3% from behind the arc during the regular season and a whopping 47.8% during the postseason.
Baynes is a perfect center in Brad Stevens system. He's solid in the pick and roll, physical inside, and is an unselfish player who's all about the final result. Baynes has also expressed his desire to remain in Boston which should bode well for the Celtics during negotiations.
On the flip side, Williams selection by the Boston means Greg Monroe's tenure with the team will most likely come to an end. Monroe signed with the Celtics for the rest of the season after being waived by Phoenix in February. He was a sporadic contributor who saw his role be almost deprecated during the playoffs.
Monroe played well at times in Boston, and at other times not so well. He doesn't fit the definition of a modern big with his inability to stretch the floor. He's mostly a low post presence and those kind of players are almost like dinosaurs in the league right now.
Baynes, Monroe, Marcus Smart (RFA), and Shane Larkin are the only Celtics not under contract for next season.
If all goes well when free agency begins in six days, expect at least one of the fan favorites to remain in Boston and help lead this team further towards title contention.