BOSTON – The president of basketball operations for the Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, was puzzled by all the talk about how Texas A & M striker Robert Williams did not work hard enough to make it into the NBA.
"It's hard to have a 'low engine' and be the defensive player of the year in a tough conference two years in a row," said Ainge on Friday after the press conference to introduce Williams.
Williams was named co-defensive player of the Southeastern Conference of the Year in 2018 after winning the award in 2017.
"That's pretty hard if you do not have the engine," said Ainge. "But if the engine can get better, that's an even bigger top."
A 6-foot, 1
Williams said his mother believed he needed another year to mature at school. When asked if he regretted not coming out after his first year, Williams smiled and shook his head.
"I mean, I'm standing right here," said Williams, who was assigned the number 44, who played Aring's career during the film's Celtics career. "I feel like I landed in a great location, it's just from here."
Williams arrived in Boston earlier this week and has spent a few days training in the team's new training facility. One of these trainings was on Friday before the press conference at 6:30.
Power Forward Al Horford was there to greet him on Wednesday.
"He just gave me the keys to success," Williams said. "Boston is a place that loves hard work, they love players who give everything."
Ainge spoke on the eve of the league's free trade and declined to comment on certain players that were available but said so was "unlikely" that the team would land a superstar. LeBron James, Chris Paul and Paul George are expected to be free agents, and Kawhi Leonard has requested a trade.
"We examine every trade of players of a certain size or superstar first-note players," said Ainge. "We'll look at the tires and see if there's anything there, but that's all, I think these things are unlikely."
One year after a complete offseason overhaul – trade with Isaiah Thomas for Kyrie Irving and Return of only four players from the team that took first place in the Eastern Conference in 2016 – Ainge He said he did not expect a major move.
"We have no need," said Ainge. "We have really good players and we want to surround them with role-players."