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Is Grant Williams edging out Semi Ojeleye in the rotation?

Over the last three games, all wins for the Boston Celtics, rookie Grant Williams is playing more, and Semi Ojeleye's minutes have dropped. As Brad Stevens continues building his bench, this may have implications for the remainder of the season.

Semi is only averaging 7.5 minutes per game in that 3-game span, contributing 1.7 PPG, 0.3 RPG, 0.7 APG and a plus/minus of -8.3. Ojeleye has averaged 15.0 MPG for the season. Grant has averaged 17.7 MPG, 6.0 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 2.0 APG and a plus/minus of +15.3 for the previous three games. G-Will also ranks second in the NBA in Defensive Rating for players playing 20-or-more games and logging 14-or-more minutes per contest.


Although this may be a temporary lineup adjustment, Stevens may be taking a look at just how high a ceiling Williams can achieve. Taken with the 22nd overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, Grant has shown himself to be poised and confident on the floor. At 6'6" and 240 pounds, he lacks high-level athleticism but makes up for it with his deceptive quickness, basketball IQ and versatility. The 2-time SEC Player-of-the-Year checks a lot of the boxes required from Boston's bench, and Brad may feel G-Will may equal Semi's defensive prowess by season's end, while producing more points, rebounds and assists.

Also at issue here is the possibility that Danny Ainge may want to bring in a free agent or buyout candidate prior to the post-season. And as always with Danny, a trade could happen. Any such move could mean waiving a current player from the roster, and that player could be Ojeleye. He earns $1.6 million this season, and his $1.8 million for next season is not guaranteed.

After Grant Williams' breakout game on December 20, in which he scored 18 points on 8-of-10 from the field and 2-of-3 on treys, Stevens may think Grant has a lot more of those games in him. Look for G-Will to continue logging minutes in the high-teens. Ainge may have hit the mark with his choice for that 22nd pick in this year's draft.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel, @CausewayStreet and Facebook







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