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NBA Free Agency 2023: Roundtable reactions to the Dallas Mavericks trading for Grant Williams

The Dallas Mavericks have a new player

2023 NBA Playoffs -Miami Heat v Boston Celtics Photo by Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images

With news breaking that the Dallas Mavericks have traded for Grant Williams, I asked the Mavs Moneyball staff a very simple question:

What’s your immediate reaction to the trade for Grant Williams?

Gracie: I’m quite pleased with the move. Bringing in Grant Williams who can defend and shoot the ball well will fit great alongside Luka and Kyrie. Williams is the type of player every contender needs. He has playoff experience that will carry well on this team. He clearly respects Luka and seems to be willing to do what it takes to win. I really like the deal he’s signed to, it’s the right value for someone that can do what he does on the floor. This move has made me feel more confident in the direction of this team next season.

Jordan: While this off-season has taken multiple turns I didn’t see coming, to see the Mavericks actually get a player they were targeting is hard to grasp, even if it’s not a splashy name.

In fact, it’s maybe more impressive that it wasn’t just some splashy name at the top of a list. They identified someone in Williams who fits a lot of what they lacked last season. Besides his versatility and ability to hit some corner threes, Williams is a smart player who should do a lot of little things for this somewhat new-look Mavericks team. And they accomplished that in a fair-price deal (and maybe even getting a couple of second-round picks too?).

Williams won’t come in and turn this team into an immediate contender but I appreciate that this front office is finally looking long-term with some savvy moves. I was a big Bullock guy so it’s tough to see him go, but the Mavs just got younger at a position of need.

Mike: A younger 3-and-D wing!

Ian: It’s a...sensible acquisition? Grant Williams isn’t perfect, but he does certain things well(hit corner threes, guard multiple positions, and be in the right spot on defense) the team could really use. A $53 mil-4 year deal for the 25-year-old sets him up as the rare Mav FA who isn’t exorbitantly compensated and is also young enough to get better(or not get worse quickly).

That Boston didn’t keep him does give me some pause; I think a late-season swoon and some questionable decision-making with the ball in important games soured what had been a fan-favorite relationship, so expectations should be tempered, but this is the same guy who almost singlehandedly won a game 7 for Boston, so there’s evidence he can show up for the big moments.

I also think getting a guy who is hard-working and intelligent will help in the locker room, especially with Reggie Bullock now going out. Hopefully, Grant can become a leader on the team and be a long-term complimentary piece.

Jack: This deal is a home run for the Mavericks. Williams fits like a glove around Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving and fills the very important need for a big wing defender. At just 24 years old, Williams is perfect for the Doncic timeline and has room to grow as a player. The contract he signed is a bargain and the cost of acquiring him (Reggie Bullock and a 2030 pick swap) is negligible. And Dallas is also getting two second-round picks in the deal, which they can use to offload McGee or make an additional move. this is an impressive showing by Nico Harrison.

Brian: From the 2022 NBA Western Conference Finals, the Dallas Mavericks only have four active players remaining from that roster. Grant Williams had hand surgery on June 9th for a torn ligament in his left hand and could potentially be sidelined for two months from basketball activities. Just something to monitor if Williams does have a slow start next season. Good price and value overall for the acquisition.

Doyle: The last time the Mavericks landed a power forward from the Celtics, it was Antoine Walker. If Grant Williams can be Antoine Walker 2.0 with better shooting, he will be a welcome addition to the roster, especially if he brings back the shimmy. Please, bring back the shimmy! However, if Williams looks anything like he did in last season’s playoffs, fans will have every right to grab torches and pitchforks and march on the AAC.

David: The move is good. Williams is a better defender than Bullock and a better dribbler. I think the Mavs have already had a good off-season with the assets they had pre-draft, and retaining their MLE while also upgrading a forward spot is a win. I don’t love the pick swap but seeing as both Dallas and San Antonio should both be good in 2030 I don’t mind it, especially if they’re getting two second-round picks back. My only concern with Williams is his lack of versatility offensively and if Portland does not match Thybulle’s offer sheet that will leave Dallas with wing playmaking deficiencies once again. Overall though, objectively good trade.

Brent: The off-season feels as though it has one more - starting Center size - shoe to drop. Up to this point, Maverick fans should be pleased. The front office has shown both creativity and a throughline of intention to improve the team in areas of desperate need. Yet it should be noted they have also shown restraint in not yet including the lone remaining first-round pick at their disposal (2027) or one of their two young guards (Green and Hardy) in a trade to acquire a new starting big man. We stand one more well-executed transaction away from something close to a best-case scenario off-season and given the team’s recent history of poor drafting and bargain bin free agency signings - this is refreshing even before the confirmation on Portland’s decision to keep Thybulle and any other moves.

Kirk: This was the move I was hoping for, maybe not Williams specifically, but a player which makes everything else connect. Dallas now has a wingish player that can defend multiple positions. If he perfect? Of course not, but Dallas got him on a great deal and picked up a pair of second-rounders. If Dallas does anything with the MLE at all, we should be in good shape. It’s been an effective off-season.

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