What would happen if Williams could manage more than 61 combined games across his first two seasons? What if he could avoid the foul trouble – over 4.0 per-36 minutes – that had kept him from earning more playing time in the games he was healthy enough to suit up for?
Everyone saw glimpses of what the hype was about. Could Williams, drafted 27th in 2018, join Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown as a legitimate building block of the Celtics’ future?
Though possible, it’s all moot unless Williams provided the best ability any athlete can have: availability. Williams became the 10th player in NBA history to record at least 16 points and 13 rebounds in a game while playing fewer than 20 minutes.
But in another, injuries came into the equation late in the season, resulting in Williams missing 12 of Boston’s last 17 regular season games followed by an absence in Games 4 and 5 of their first-round loss to the Nets, thus creating concern about his ability to hold up as the long-term option at center.