One of the bigger questions of the Celtics offseason is what the hell Brad is going to end up doing in regards to the restricted free agency of Grant Williams. Part of that is out of his control because it all depends on what the market says Grant is worth, but given how salaries are going to have to be factored in moving forward, I imagine there's a limit that Brad & Wyc will go in order to retain Grant.
Remember, if Grant gets a big offer sheet and the Celts don't decide to match, replacing him becomes pretty difficult. It's not like they have a pile of cash laying around to spend on the open market just because they decided to not give that money to Grant. With RFA there's always sign & trade possibilities and things of that nature, but the whole situation is a little tricky. Is Brad going to shell out legit money for a guy that Joe won't even play? Is Grant being in the doghouse and out of the rotation going to be a thing next year as well with Gallo coming back into the mix? That might solve the shooting part, but it certainly doesn't address the defensive versatility part.
You then start to think about what kind of team would even be interested in a player like Grant combined with who the hell will even have money to spend this summer. Teams like HOU/ORL/SA/UTA/DET/OKC are projected to be the teams with the most cash to spend
and frankly, I could see a potential fit on any of those top 5 teams. If the Rockets don't give Harden that max and need to fill out their roster with older more proven NBA talent, there's certainly a connection there with Ime and how he's going to want to play. The Spurs you could argue have some frontcourt depth issues where making a run at Grant doesn't seem too crazy. With the Jazz, I mean Ainge drafted Grant and Kelly Olynyk is entering his age 32 season with only a partially guaranteed year. Perhaps Ainge looks to get younger with a guy he's familiar with.
The Pistons are interesting because not only will they have money to spend, but they also have no fewer than 5,000 centers on their roster, so is it totally crazy to think there may end up being some sort of S&T possibility where those two teams swap a depth center for Grant? They have Wiseman (12M), Bagley (12M), Stewart (5M) and Duren (5M) all under contract next year, and you figure Stewart/Duren are off limits given their age/being on rookie deals.
At this point of the offseason, we're all just guessing. RFAs are tough to predict, and generally, the actual number a guy goes for is lower than many thought. If Grant's market price is relatively low after a bit of a down year, does Brad just match it and figure the rest out later? There are ways they can potentially go up in salary matching, like if they were to not guarantee Muscala's deal and then maybe bring him back at the minimum, so there are a few different avenues Brad/Mike Zarren can go down if they truly want to keep Grant moving foward.
You also have to be wary of the fact that we are in prime "leverage through the media" season when it comes to free agency. We saw it yesterday with the Kyrie Irving/LeBron leak from Shams/Haynes. When it comes to Grant, we have our first case of it as well
On the surface, the Magic are a bit of a confusing team to be in the running for Grant. When it comes to a position of need, a stretch 4 isn't really one of them:
Paolo Banchero / Wendell Carter Jr / Mo Wagner / Bol Bol (non guaranteed, but they probably guarantee it)
All of those guys are young, and that doesn't even include Jonathan Isaac who hasn't played in forever. I'm just not sure it makes sense that they'd be willing to give Grant an offer high enough to where the Celts wouldn't match, for a position they don't really need.
As they say, when it comes to RFA, all it takes is 1 team. To me, when it comes to the Magic potentially being that team, this sounds more like agent posturing than anything else. I have no doubt that there will be teams interested in Grant and one of them with space will make a sizable offer, I'm just not sure that team is the Magic. This is usually how things work with RFAs this time of year. Agents leak things to help create a narrative/market for their client. Maybe it's to squeeze more money out of Boston, maybe it's to scare other teams into getting into the mix if they feel like Grant has other options, who knows. The only thing we know for sure is with all RFA rumors, you have to take them with a giant grain of salt. With all the new CBA implications, it's virtually impossible for us normal people with no inside information to know what's going to happen. We're all just guessing.
The only thing we do know is Grant is a pretty gigantic domino in terms of the Celts offseason roster construction. At the end of the day, he was a top 7-8 rotation player, and losing him for nothing would certainly make things a little more difficult moving forward. Now we just wait to see what his price ends up being.