5 Under-the-radar players Blazers should target in a Damian Lillard trade

Onyeka Okongwu, Atlanta Hawks, Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Onyeka Okongwu, Atlanta Hawks, Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /
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Robert Williams III, Boston Celtics
Robert Williams III, Boston Celtics, Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

Blazers Lillard trade target No. 2: Robert Williams III, Boston Celtics

Robert Williams is a 25-year-old center for the Boston Celtics. Despite playing an average of only 23.5 minutes per game last year, Williams has proven to be a valuable asset to his team. He has showcased his skills on both ends of the court, contributing significantly to the Celtics’ success.

Williams averaged 8.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.4 blocks per game on 75/0/61 shooting splits last season. At 6-foot-9, Williams’ ability to impact the game with his rebounding, shot-blocking, and scoring efficiency makes him a vital component of the Celtics roster.

Injury history is a concern; he only played 35 games in 2022-23 and has only played more than 50 games in two of his five seasons. He’s had a multitude of injuries, including a torn meniscus.

Although he has an injury history, Williams’ potential as a two-way center is undeniable. According to FiveThirtyEight’s RAPTOR rating, Williams is a positive 1.7 on defense and 2.9 wins above replacement.

He still has room to improve, but Williams could be an excellent piece to add to the Blazers young core. Williams would likely be relatively cheap, given his injury history. He’d also fit perfectly in terms of what the Blazers have been missing as a rim-protecting center.

The Celtics weren’t mentioned in Lillard’s list of preferred teams to be traded to. However, they are certainly in win-now mode with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Even Tatum is currently trying to recruit Lillard to Boston.

Does Boston have enough to get Lillard? It’s a fair question, but Robert Williams III would almost certainly have to be included.