Grant Williams, Celtics rookies choose rarely-used C's uniform numbers

Darren Hartwell
NBC Sports Boston

Grant Williams, Celtics rookies choose rarely-used C's uniform numbers originally appeared on nbcsportsboston.com

Grant Williams wasn't kidding when he mentioned the difficulty of finding a Boston Celtics uniform number that isn't retired.

Williams and the Celtics' three other selections in the 2019 NBA Draft met the media Monday for an introductory press conference at the Auerbach Center.

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They also showed off their new Boston uniforms, and you won't find many with a rich tradition.

Here's each player and their number:

Romeo Langford: No. 45
Grant Williams: No. 40
Carsen Edwards: No. 29
Tremont Waters: No. 51


Langford, the Celtics' top selection Thursday, at 14th overall, chose a number recently occupied by C's legends such as Raef Lafrentz (2004-06), Carlos Arroyo (2011), Gerald Wallace (2014-15) and Kadeem Allen (2018).

After realizing he couldn't wear No. 2 (retired for Red Auerbach) and No. 5 (soon-to-be retired for Kevin Garnett), Williams settled for 40, last worn by Michael Finley and Oliver Lafayette in 2010.

Edwards' No. 29 hasn't been operational in Boston since Pervis Ellison wore it in 2000, while Keyon Dooling (2012) was the last Celtic to wear No. 51.

Waters was drafted 51st overall, and said on the Celtics' Instagram story Monday he picked the same uniform number as a motivator because "in my opinion, I felt like I should have been drafted higher."

The rookies can and probably will choose new numbers after players from last year's roster leave town (Kyrie Irving among them, perhaps?) when free agency begins. But with 21 retired numbers, the Celtics aren't giving their young kids a ton of options.

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