Boston Celtics: Robert Williams makes Dwight Howard signing unlikely

Thursday night, the Boston Celtics drafted Robert Williams, one of the top big men of his class. His defensive presence was unavoidable at pick 27.

While many thought Danny Ainge would make a move and go after Texas big Mo Bamba, the Boston Celtics stayed put and took Texas A&M Center Robert Williams, who is a defensive anchor that will definitely make a smooth transition from College to the NBA.

Earlier last week, the Charlotte Hornets traded star Center Dwight Howard to the Brooklyn Nets. They got Timofey Mozgov and a collection of draft picks in return. Then, Howard and the Nets were discussing a potential buyout of his $23.8 million the 32-year old is due next year. Howard also clearly wants to join a contender, so he is obviously linked to Boston.

If the buyout is secured, this would mean that Howard will enter free agency this Summer. Superman is and will continue to be a good fit for the Celtics, as their biggest hole as a unit continues to be their rebounding.

The problem

Some of you may be asking, “But Tre, if Dwight is a good fit, then what’s the issue with signing him?” The biggest issue is how it might affect Williams development. The rookie’s ability to protect the rim and get boards will get him big minutes. I think he could be a double-double guy immediately.

Another problem that occurs is Howard’s willingness to play in a system like the Boston Celtics. He is one of the strongest big men in the league, and his shoulders pass the eye test (by the way, if you’re reading this Dwight, could I maybe get a good workout plan from you? Thanks).

However, he is never really willing to set screens. He would rather stay down low and gobble up boards. If he set more screens, his value would go up. However, Superman just doesn’t really do that. Howard could very well be one of the best pick and roll bigs in the league. Since he probably won’t set screens, that becomes a problem.

The upside

If the Celtics truly want Banner 18 this next season, acquiring rebounders and rim protectors must be a priority. Obviously, signing  Howard to a comfortable salary would accomplish that. Besides, having a veteran with the same playing style as one of your rookies has its upside.

If Brad Stevens decides this Summer that Williams needs to develop more before he is a viable option at Center, signing Howard would be the best move. This would give time for Williams to develop while also getting quality minutes from a proven veteran at a spot of need.

Over the past five years, their best single-season rebounder was a young Jared Sullinger, who we haven’t seen in the league in about 2 years. Drafting Williams is a good start to adding rebounders to the team.

The biggest thing in this situation is whether or not Monroe and Baynes walk. If both pack up and leave, then Howard will be a great fit. However, if Baynes or Monroe stay, then there might not be room for Superman.