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Red flags remain for Rob Williams

Going into his third year in the League, red flags remain in place for the Celtics Rob Williams. Like most of us, I tossed aside the concerns I had over him missing his first conference call and being late for team functions. But now I have to revisit what I dreaded - namely, that there was a reason Rob fell from the lottery to #27 where Danny Ainge took the bait in the 2018 NBA draft.

TIMELORD's supreme athleticism cannot be denied. That, and his massive wingspan, got him this far. But the concerns go all the way back to his college days (per's Eric Yearian):

Weaknesses: Has a tendency to leave you wanting more. Disappears for stretches of games, particularly offensively … Competitive level has been questioned by some … Doesn’t always seem in control on the court, opponents can speed him up and make him uncomfortable … Has been working to extend his range, but still lacks any consistency with his jump shot … Very poor free throw shooter who needs work on his shot mechanics … Sometimes relies too much on his athleticism … Still a raw prospect who, despite making a big leap in development his freshman year, didn’t progress nearly as much as a sophomore … Can become complacent when the offense is flowing through teammates … Inconsistent performer,  especially as a scorer … Can struggle to make major offensive impact when he doesn’t have the physical advantage over his competition … Has a habit of posting in space instead of fighting his opponent for position … Some of his deficiencies have been covered up by playing in Texas A&M’s frontcourt (along with Tyler Davis) where teams can’t double Williams … Sometimes can find himself out of position defensively, this can likely be remedied with more experience, however … Was suspended to start sophomore season, raising some red flags.

Sound familiar? I thought so. Granted, Williams III has been plagued by injuries, but I have concerns about his intensity and focus on the court. "Competitive level questioned" - . "Leaves you wanting more" - "Relies too much on athleticism" - "Can become complacent".  Yearian's pre-draft analysis appears right-on. We have seen the same characteristics over the past two seasons.

It is the lack of competitiveness and his complacency that truly worries me. Can that be fixed? Of course, but these negative characteristics may be so imbued in Rob that they will be part of him most of his life.

Don't think for a minute that Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge haven't seen these same deficits in Williams. Improving physical characteristics, such as strength and conditioning is relatively easy. Repairing physiological limitations can be tough. Like many Celtics fans, I had high hopes for Williams III, but don't be surprised to see him as part of a trade package sometime prior to the trade deadline.


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