Boston Celtics: 2019 NBA Draft grades

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Photo by Ryan McGilloway/NBAE via Getty Images /
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Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images /

No. 22 pick: Grant Williams

Barring a trade, the Celtics have collected another wing to add to their arsenal alongside Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward in 21-year-old Grant Williams from Tennessee.

As highlighted with the Romeo Langford selection, the Celtics struggled to get to the free throw line last season. Fortunately, Williams — like Langford — displayed a talent for drawing fouls in all three of his seasons with the Vols.

While he’s not as efficient of a deep threat scorer as Boston is used to having from its wings, shooting just 29.1 percent in his collegiate career on very limited attempts, he’s an extremely efficient interior scorer. Williams shot 59.3 percent inside the 3-point line last season.

His 3-point shot was lacking in percentage, but he was not lacking in form, and his efficiency at the free throw line and from the mid-range project positively for him to extend his range. In fact, many writers — like The Ringer‘s Kevin O’Connor — believe he could be one of the biggest steals of the draft.

The Celtics have stressed hard-nosed, gritty defense as their calling card over the past few seasons. They are drafting in a way that suggests they will be hoping to return to the same defensive juggernaut that took them to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 2018.

Williams should slide right into Boston’s defensive plans, as he’s a high-IQ player who seems to always be in the right spot on the court — something this team missed from players like Jaylen Brown in off-ball defense. Grant also plays extremely physical individual defense and is an excellent close-out defender.

Grade: A