The key to the Boston Celtics future success is Robert Williams III

Robert Williams III #44 of the Boston Celtics (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Robert Williams III #44 of the Boston Celtics (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Boston Celtics are hard at work this offseason after a six game loss in the 2022 NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors. They layed low for most of the 2022 NBA Draft, selecting JD Davison with their lone pick.

But with free agency on the horizon, the rumor mill is at full blast, and the Celtics are involved in several of these rumors. Don’t even think for a second that the Celtics aren’t in the middle of supposed Kevin Durant trade rumors.

But what the Celtics forget to realize is that they have the future of their team currently on the roster. No, I’m not talking about Jayson Tatum. No, I’m not talking about Jaylen Brown or even Marcus Smart. I’m talking about Robert Williams III. Williams is a huge part of the future for the Boston Celtics. But why?

The Boston Celtics have a defensive force in Robert Williams III

We all know what Robert Williams III can do on the defensive end of the floor. Teams literally have to gameplay differently when Williams is healthy and flying all over the place.

If you watched the Celtics this season, you’ll have noticed something defensively. While the other four guys on the floor for the Celtics were switching on defense, Rob Williams III would hover around the paint for any drives inside. This gave the Celtics the freedom to be more aggressive on defense. Williams could cover the whole floor and alter shots with his amazing shot-blocking ability.

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Also, notice how Williams played through a ton of pain after he came back in the playoffs from a knee injury. This is a testament to how tough Rob Williams is once he came back. Sure, he wasn’t 100%. That was evident based on the noticeable limping at times by Williams. Honestly, I’ll bet the pain of losing the Finals was worse than the physical pain he felt when playing.

The Boston Celtics have a reasonable financial commitment to Robert Williams III

In August of last year, Robert Williams III signed a four year, $54 million extension with the Celtics. I know the terms aren’t exactly what the team paid Tatum or Brown. But it shows that Brad Stevens is confident enough in Williams  ability for the long-term.

The obvious question mark here is whether or not Williams can stay healthy for a full season. When Williams is fully healthy, he is a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. That’s how good Robert Williams can be! Will he live up to the contract? That’s another story.

Next. Trevion Williams is the rookie the C's need now. dark

The bottom line is that Robert Williams defensive presence and ability down low is key to the Celtics future. Tatum and Brown will continue to lead. Marcus Smart will hopefully continue to improve at the point guard spot. The younger guys like Grant Williams and Payton Pritchard will hopefully continue to thrive in their bench roles.

But it’s Robert Williams III health and development that will determine the future of the Celtics being contenders. Time will tell.