4. Robert Williams
The Boston Celtics’ decision to trade for Kristaps Porzingis this summer could signal the end for Robert Williams, as he was already battling with Al Horford for minutes. Williams is in just the second-year of a four-year $48 million contract extension and is still just 26-years-old.
Williams’ inability to stay healthy is a major drawback, as he injured his knee shortly before the start of the playoffs in 2021-22, and was in and out of the lineup during the Celtics’ postseason run that year.
This past season he missed another 47 games, adding more cause for concern regarding his health. When healthy, however, he’s easily one of the better defenders in the entire league.
In fact, many thought he was en route to nabbing the Defensive Player of the Year award at the time of his injury two seasons ago. In spite of the time missed, Williams still made the All-Defensive team that year.
Rockets head coach Ime Udoka knows what Williams is capable of, perhaps better than most, as he was the Celtics’ coach that season.
And much has been made about Udoka’s desire to improve defensively. With that being said, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if the Rockets set their sights on Williams, who makes an average of just $12.4 million over the next three seasons.