By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics stood pat on draft night and ended up with a potential steal at the end of the first round.
With their only selection of the evening, Boston drafted Texas A&M big man Robert Williams. The athletic center gives the C’s will be a project for Brad Stevens and company, but they already have big plans for Williams thanks to his stellar defensive game. His defense should get him some playing time as a rookie, and his ability to throw it down also has Stevens salivating for his new player.
“There are a lot of things he brings to the table,” said the C’s head coach. “He’s an elite athlete with incredible length.”
Here’s everything else you need to know about the newest member of the Boston Celtics.
Williams Plays D
Boston’s defensive-minded system has been missing one thing the last few years: A legit shot blocker. Williams will fill that void, averaging 2.5 blocks per game during his two years at Texas A&M.
He can thank his 7-foot-6 wingspan for that defensive prowess. Williams was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year in both of his collegiate seasons, and his 90.2 Defensive Rating as a sophomore was the best in the SEC.
Mix his defense with highlight-reel dunks, and many are comparing Williams to Houston Rockets big man Clint Capela.
The Kid Can Dunk, But The Rest Of His Offense Needs Some Work
Williams hit 59 percent of his shots at Texas A&M, but that’s because he was a monster around the rim. And we mean a monster:
But the rest of his offensive game is extremely raw and needs a lot of work.
Williams doesn’t shoot threes, attempting just 30 total at Texas A&M. After taking 18 threes (hitting two of them) his freshman year, Williams shot just 12 as a sophomore (he missed them all). Maybe the Celtics shouldn’t give him the green light from deep.
Williams also needs a lot of work at the free throw line, hitting just 54 percent from the charity stripe. That could play into the commitment issues some draft experts pointed out, but if there’s anyone who can get a young player focused on getting better, it’s Brad Stevens.
He Didn’t Work Out For C’s Ahead Of Draft
Williams was not one of the slew of players Boston brought in leading up to the draft, but Danny Ainge had seen enough to know he couldn’t pass up on the 20-year-old on draft night.
He’ll be in Boston on June 29 for his introductory press conference, and will likely make his Celtics debut in the Vegas Summer League next month.
He’ll Get Along With Kyrie Irving
Not only will he enjoy getting lobs from Kyrie, they can spend their free time talking about conspiracy theories. Like Irving, Williams believes the earth is flat.
The Celtics locker room is going to be even more interesting next season….
He Has A Unique Nickname
Apparently, Williams’ mother calls him “boo butt.”
Just think of all the possibilities for the t-shirt guys outside of the TD Garden.
He Skipped Out On New York And Watched The Draft With His Family
Williams spent his draft night at a Buffalo Wild Wings with friends and family. Here’s how Williams reacted to being drafted by the Celtics:
He Had Little Faith In The Celtics In The 2017 Playoffs
As we continue to dive into Williams’ Twitter, he didn’t think too highly of the Celtics playoff run two seasons ago.
That was sent after the C’s won Game 7 against the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference semis. The Celtics went on to lose to the Cavaliers in five games in the Eastern Conference finals, otherwise known as a “Gentleman’s Sweep.”
Chances are we won’t be seeing any more tweets like that from Williams.
Other Teams Are Kind Of Mad He’s A Celtic
The rich get richer.