One of my favorite sayings, and it often applies to sports, is it is always a good idea to profit off the stupidity of others. Celtics’ President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge applies this on a near daily basis, and again last Thursday he found a lot of suckers. Somehow a team that was picking 27th in the draft with a major need for a big man, found one. Texas A&M center Robert Williams—a lottery talent—dropped and around pick 17, Celtics management started hosting group prayer. The Big Man upstairs listened, and the Cs have a big-time talent who fits exactly what they need and augments an already loaded roster. Never in a million years did I think Boston would come out of this draft with a player of this caliber without trading. As always, Ainge played his cards and rolled Black Jack. I am hopeful that 26 teams have black eyes real soon.
Williams is a rim protector and rebounder—he also does things outside defensively and in today’s NBA of switching and rotations, this is key. He can be an instant impact guy and could and should extend Al Horford’s career. Al wants to play the 4-spot, and with a legit big on the team, this will happen. He is a two-time SEC defensive player of the year. Robert is not a perfect player -he has a limited offensive game and is a poor free throw shooter. This is a Ben Wallace, DeAndre Jordan, Andre Drummond type—poor range, mostly dunks, put backs. On the Cs this is okay. This team has plenty of shooters and scorers. This is a bigger Marcus Smart—you do not want him shooting from more than five feet.
The Celtics are approaching title-or-bust territory with the last two teams making the conference finals, and the 18-19 team adding two all-stars Stars to a super-talented squad. Role players and depth become vital and Williams fits the tee. Look at the impact guys like Aaron Baynes, Shane Larkin and Marcus Morris had on the team last season. This kid could do that and then some. I am excited to see what Cs coach Brad Stevens can do with him and what a pick and roll with Robert and Kyrie Irving looks like. This was a good night for Boston fans and could be potentially huge down the road.