Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics did not find a way to leap up to the top of the 2018 NBA Draft.
But they’ll hope that they’ve found their next young big man all the same with the selection Texas A&M’s Robert Williams III with the No. 27 overall pick on Thursday night.
A 6-foot-10 center that primarily played the four throughout his brief collegiate career, Williams averaged 10.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per night in a 30-game sophomore season for the Aggies. He also finished the season with a 63.2 field goal percentage, which was a 7.4 percent improvement from his freshman year.
The beneficiary of an absurd 7-foot-6 wingspan, Williams plays bigger than his listed height, and has strength to compete in the paint. Williams also plays a physical brand of basketball, which could make him an early and possible replacement for free agent to be Aron Baynes.
The 20-year-old Williams was apparently on the radar of the Celtics’ Ainge and Mike Zarren braintrust once he slipped out of the top 17, according to Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
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