BOSTON (CBS) — While this summer hasn’t been kind to the Boston Celtics thus far, fans are at least falling in love with one of the team’s draft picks.
There’s a lot to like about Tennessee forward Grant Williams, whom the C’s took with the No. 22 overall pick last Thursday. Williams was a first-team All-American with the Volunteers and has a hard-nosed style of play that should win over Boston fans fairly quickly. He’s a bit of a tweener at 6-foot-7 but there is no questioning Williams’ motor, fitting the prototype of past Danny Ainge selections such as Leon Powe and Glen Davis. And for a team in need of some help in the chemistry department, Williams’ team-first mentality will be a welcome addition.
Plus, Williams called out Kyrie Irving for his flat Earth nonsense ahead of the draft process. Williams’ mother is an engineer at NASA, and he wasn’t having any of Irving’s antics. Given how things appear to be ending between the Celtics and Irving, Boston fans must have loved their first impression of Williams.
Williams is also extremely punctual. Celtics radio analyst Cedric Maxwell was flying back from Charlotte over the weekend and was on the same flight as Williams and his family. Max notes that Williams was at the airport early for his flight — two-and-a-half hours early. That gave Max plenty of time to chat with one of the newest Celtics players.
“Seemed like he was going to be in love with Boston,” said Max. “He’s a shooter, seems like a very intelligent kid. Any kid who comes up in this day [and] time and introduces himself, talks off the cuff, doesn’t need an agent, to me, they’re ready.”
Max added that Williams is a tough kid, which is a part of his game that Celtics fans will love seeing on the floor. The 20-year-old was curious about Monday’s introductory press conference at the Auerbach Center, and Max said Williams dropped an interesting nugget during their discussion.
“He was talking about numbers which were available, and said 11 was available,” said Max, which raised some eyebrows.
Irving has worn No. 11 his two seasons in Boston, and it doesn’t appear he’ll be the last one to wear it. We’ll have to wait and see which number Williams and his fellow rookies hold up Monday afternoon.