When Terrence Williams signed a 10-day contract with the Boston Celtics on February 18th, he was seen as just a warm body off the bench for the injury-ravaged Celtics. The Celtics were depleted by injuries without their All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, rookie forward Jared Sullinger, and reserve guard Leandro Barbosa. With no clear backup for Rondo, the Celtics believed Williams could fit the bill.
Williams displayed an array of skills while he was at the University of Louisville. The 6-foot-6-inch, 220-pound swingman could set up shots for his teammates as well as himself. He showed strength inside with his size and speed. Head coach Rick Pitino called him “a freakish athlete.” This led to the then-New Jersey Nets using their 11th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft on Williams.
Since Williams has entered the league, he has been unable to showcase the skills that led him to the NBA because of his immaturity. He had bouts with former Nets head coach Avery Johnson that led to him being sent down to the NBA Development League in 2010. He was eventually released by the Nets. The four-year veteran bounced around the league with the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings before he was cut by the Detroit Pistons last summer.
In the 2012-’13 season, Williams played overseas in China. He averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.2 steals while playing for the Guangdong Southern Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association. Williams was on the court for 29 games for the Tigers before he was replaced by Donald Sloan in the final two games of the regular season.
His performance in the CBA and the Celtics’ need for a reserve guard led him back to the NBA. Despite the limited time he spent on the court, the Celtics liked his potential to sign him to a multi-year contract in March. Williams played in 24 games in the regular season with the Celtics and he shot 49.5% from the floor. In the Celtics’ first round loss to the New York Knicks, Doc Rivers gave Williams a few critical minutes in the fourth quarter of Game 5 when Williams replaced Kevin Garnett. He was able to allow the Celtics to regain a double-digit advantage at 80-67. Williams scored four points, collected four rebounds, and dished out two assists in less than 17 minutes of action.
After the Celtics season ended, the future of the team is up in the air whether the Celtics will keep Paul Pierce and Garnett or if they will rebuild. Williams has shown he is capable of producing on the biggest stage and the Celtics hope to see more of Williams’ instincts when training camp arrives in the fall.