Slimmed down Grant Williams looking to contribute more in 2021-22

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Chin: Slimmed down Grant Williams looking to contribute more originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Celtics preseason so far has been a showcase for the team’s much-maligned 2019 first-round draft class.

Romeo Langford basically can’t miss from three on a team where shooting is at a premium. Meanwhile, Grant Williams is making it hard for new head coach Ime Udoka to take him off the floor.

Following an end-of-season conversation with now President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens, Williams set to work on doing whatever it takes to carve out a role for himself on a crowded Celtics depth chart.

That started with transforming his body, dropping 15 pounds coming into training camp and hoping to lose 10 more. He hired a chef in the offseason who refined the menu and put him on a plan.

"The biggest thing is making sure you eat the right foods, especially portion size." Williams told me. "The issue was, I was eating good, it’s just that I was eating a lot. I needed to maintain better portion sizes."

The results are already paying off. The one-handed dunk against Orlando was one thing, but at the other end, it has allowed Williams to thrive in Udoka’s switch-everything defensive system.

"I do a great job switching," he said confidently. "Being able to not only be vocal on the back end and help those guys, but being able to play in more help-defensive roles."

Communication is also a strength of Williams, sometimes to a fault. According to him, the team recently closed practice with the cheer, Shut the f**k up Grant, on three!

Not to mention the dust up with starting point guard Marcus Smart he recently got into at the end of another practice session.

"Yeah, that’s Grant," Smart told me. "We don’t expect anything less from me or Grant. At the end of the practice we hugged and it was over."

The reality is, though, Williams' fight for playing time continues. And, it doesn’t matter to him at what position, as long as he’s on the floor.

"I feel like whatever they throw me at, I’ll be happy and content with," Williams said. "The 5-4-3, whatever they need me, I’ll play. I’m just excited to get back out there. That’s one of the biggest things is just being out there, competing and playing with the utmost energy."