Report: Ex-Celtic Robert Williams ‘definitely available' via trade

Report: Ex-Celtic Robert Williams ‘definitely available' via trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Robert Williams' tenure with the Portland Trail Blazers may last all of six games.

The Blazers are expected to be "very open" to dealing their injured big man ahead of the NBA trade deadline, Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes said Monday on the #thisleague UNCUT podcast with co-host Marc Stein.

"That’s not up for debate. If they get the right deal in place, they will be open," Haynes said of the Blazers. "... Robert Williams is somebody that is definitely available."

The Boston Celtics sent Williams, Malcolm Brogdon and two first-round picks to the Blazers on Oct. 1 in return for point guard Jrue Holiday, who came from the Milwaukee Bucks as part of the Damian Lillard trade. Williams appeared in just six games for Portland this season before suffering a knee injury that required season-ending surgery, but he could have interest among teams banking on his upside if he can stay healthy.

"Teams feel like he would be somebody that could get on the cheap right now and allow him to continue recovering, continue rehabbing in hopes that he can blossom back into the Robert Williams that we’ve seen when he was playing at a high level with the Boston Celtics," Haynes added.

Williams is a dynamic two-way player when healthy. He averaged 10.0 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game during the 2021-22 campaign, helping the Celtics reach the NBA Finals as their starting center with elite rim protection and rim-running ability. He's also on a team-friendly contract (four years, $48 million) that runs through 2026.

But any team acquiring Time Lord would be taking a major gamble on his health. Williams has played more than 60 games just once in six NBA seasons and has appeared in 41 games total since that 2021-22 season.

Still, Williams' upside is high enough that there should be interest in the big man, adding an intriguing wrinkle ahead of the Feb. 8 deadline.