Grant Williams Was Considered ‘Bad Locker Room Guy’ With Celtics

Grant Williams spent four seasons with the Boston Celtics, playing a minor role off the bench that wasn’t valuable enough to earn a bypass from the Dallas Mavericks this season for one main reason: locker room conduct.

Williams was on record as a chatterbox with the Celtics. However, that reputation turned into an issue during his time with Dallas. So much so that at February’s trade deadline, despite having signed Williams to a four-year, $53 million deal last offseason, the Mavericks cut ties and traded the 25-year-old after just 47 games with the organization.

In hindsight, while fans might’ve resonated with Williams in Boston, behind the scenes, the Tennessee product also didn’t rub everyone within the Celtics organization the right way either.

“Yeah, he was annoying. He was annoying to everybody,” Celtics play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman told 98.5 The Sport Hub’s “Toucher & Hardy” program Wednesday. “I think initially everybody thought, ‘Oh, he’s a wise-ass, but he’s kind of cute, and he’s kind of funny, and then it just kind of wore thin. And it got thin quickly in Dallas, obviously, if you start to take on (Luka) Doncic you’re not gonna be around for long.”

Story continues below advertisement

The Celtics drafted Williams 22nd overall in 2019 and molded him into a somewhat serviceable 3-and-D bench player. Occasionally, Williams would surprisingly stump big-name stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo in the 2022 Eastern Conference finals defensively but was a liability elsewhere. Williams hasn’t proven that he can score from inside the perimeter, therefore, the case of retaining him in Boston on a multi-year deal was nonexistent.

Williams averaged 6.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists, shooting 45.1% from the field and 37.9% from three — essentially what Payton Pritchard has given the Celtics this season, but more efficient and for nearly $24 million less in total contract value.

“He’s an extra. He’s an eighth, ninth, tenth guy on your roster,” Gorman added on Williams. “So those guys are very replaceable. That guys a bad locker room guy. If you’re a bad locker room guy, you’re the eighth or ninth guy, you’re not going to be the eighth or ninth guy for long because you’re not gonna be on the team for long.”

Supposedly in Dallas, Williams got ahead of himself and it went beyond rumors of him switching similarly n-game footwear from Jordan brand’s Luka 2 to the Tatum 2. Similar to when Williams provoked Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler by trash-talking him in the conference finals last season, Williams ran his mouth a bit too much with the Mavericks too.

Story continues below advertisement

“He decided he wanted to get under Luka’s skin. He felt that Luka didn’t come that day ready to practice,” Mavericks assistant general manager Michael Finley said Monday on 105.3 The Fan. “To make a long story short, they had a scrimmage going and he’s talking trash to Luka up and down the court. So finally, Luka says, ‘OK,’ and I tell you, Luka went on a 26-6 run by himself.”

Lesson learned? Apparently not.

Williams cost himself a roster spot on a Mavericks team fighting for a playoff spot and is now partaking in a tank-driven Hornets squad sitting at the No. 13 seed (16-49) in the East.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.