3 Former Celtics Failing Miserably With Their New Teams in 2023

Sometimes a change and scenery can be productive. Unfortunately, that isn't the case for these three former Boston Celtics who are learning that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.
Marcus Smart is one former Celtics who's struggling with his new team during the 2023-24 NBA season.
Marcus Smart is one former Celtics who's struggling with his new team during the 2023-24 NBA season. / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Grant Williams, Dallas Mavericks

Grant Williams is another former Celtic that fans didn't want to see go. Hell, the franchise itself wanted to keep the talented power forward, but a sign-and-trade deal with the Dallas Mavericks became necessary if the Celtics wanted to avoid dealing with over $40 million in luxury tax penalties.

Unlike Smart, Williams' new team is actually playing well. The Mavericks are in the thick of the Western Conference standings, sitting just three games out of first place with a 14-8 record through 22 contests. However, that doesn't mean that the former Tennessee Volunteer has played a big role in that success.

Many basketball fans thought the big man would take a huge step forward playing alongside Luka Doncic, but that hasn't been the case. Despite being a full-time starter for the first time, Williams is only averaging 9.8 points and shooting 42.2% from the floor (including a career-worst 46.3% from two-point range) while playing 28.8 minutes per outing.

And even though you can make the point that Williams has never been an offense-first player, it isn't like his defensive play has been all that impressive this year. He went from averaging a defensive rating of 111 per 100 possessions across four seasons with the Celtics to a putrid 119 this campaign.

Williams' lack of an impact is made evident by his 0.8 win shares, which is tied for seventh on the Mavericks. That's not exactly encouraging to see from a player who's making about $13.3 million over the next four seasons.

Nevertheless, Williams is still young (25), making it interesting to see if he has what it takes to take that next step forward in Dallas. Until then, it's hard to call his situation a success.