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Celtics GM Danny Ainge says Robert Williams will become a contributor in 2019-20

Danny Ainge, Robert Williams, Celtics

Boston Celtics forward Robert Williams had an underwhelming rookie season. He put up measly averages of 2.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in 8.8 minutes, while appearing in 32 games for the team last season. However, with Al Horford leaving the team in free agency, Williams is expected to have an increased role, according to general manager Danny Ainge.

Williams has already shown flashes of being a good rebounder last season, but what he displayed in Summer League was the ability to score, defend and facilitate. Of course, it is unlikely that he will be able to do all those next seasons, especially given the fact that Enes Kanter is on the team, but if the 21-year-old continues to improve, he may be able to make the team’s main roster.

Aside from Kanter, the Celtics do not have an established backup center. Vincent Poirier and Daniel Theis are pretty much like Williams — big men with potential but still a work in progress. These three will battle it out to determine who will become the primary frontcourt option off the bench, and it will be interesting to see if Williams can outperform his older teammates.

The Celtics have a collection of talented young players who’ve already shown what they’re capable of. Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart are expected to play major roles next season. These three are expected to be Boston’s cornerstones for a long time, and who knows? Williams could join this group depending on how well he’ll play next season.

One of the Celtics’ top executives believes in him, so that’s a start.