I Believe in Time Lord...Why Can't You?

Jimbodandy

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
3,664
around the way
I think he'd get some minutes but this is a fair point. Carsen Edwards got minutes. There are always some minutes to go around. If both Paschall and Williams were on the Celtics though, Williams would be playing more. I agree with that.

On the flip side, if they were both on GS, I think Paschall would probably be playing more. He can "score."
Agreed. Depends on a what a team needs. Even when regularly down one scorer, we usually have plenty. Williams fills a role that we need filled. Paschall fills a role that GSW (and most teams) need.
 

Devizier

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 3, 2000
11,209
Somewhere
Player development can be weird as hell. There was a period in time when Oladipo looked like he would never put it together, and then he did. Same goes for Fultz (work in progress).

One thing that does tend to be true is that rookies who carry a relatively high load in their team's offense (USG >20% let's say) tend to stick around in the league for a while. There are exceptions to that rule (guys that got injured and the very special exception of Adam Morrison), but it typically holds. Included in that list are fringe guys like Mudiay and Beasley, but they keep finding homes and it's probably a better sign than not for Paschall.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
11,440
Player development can be weird as hell. There was a period in time when Oladipo looked like he would never put it together, and then he did. Same goes for Fultz (work in progress).

One thing that does tend to be true is that rookies who carry a relatively high load in their team's offense (USG >20% let's say) tend to stick around in the league for a while. There are exceptions to that rule (guys that got injured and the very special exception of Adam Morrison) but it's generally true.
Since you didn't explicitly say it, Eric Paschall's usage is at 21.5% this year. Williams is at 12.1%.
 

DannyDarwinism

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 7, 2007
4,017
Player development can be weird as hell. There was a period in time when Oladipo looked like he would never put it together, and then he did. Same goes for Fultz (work in progress).

One thing that does tend to be true is that rookies who carry a relatively high load in their team's offense (USG >20% let's say) tend to stick around in the league for a while. There are exceptions to that rule (guys that got injured and the very special exception of Adam Morrison), but it typically holds. Included in that list are fringe guys like Mudiay and Beasley, but they keep finding homes and it's probably a better sign than not for Paschall.
I would assume those guys are typically high draft picks. It’d be interesting to see the list of second rounders with high usage, high minutes. I can check out B-ref later.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
11,440
I'm not sure how to filter for pick but the first 7 players I saw that meet the criteria were Dejuan Blair, James Edwards, Luis Orr, Marcus Thornton, Jeff Rutland and 2 guys who shouldn't count in Sabonis and Radja. Not that bad a list, considering it's 2nd round+. Sabonis was actually taken in the 4th round.
 

benhogan

Baynes Hogan (pending trade)
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
8,598
Santa Monica
In another thread @benhogan said he would take about 10 guys drafted behind TL ahead of him. That made me curious so I looked up the list. I'm not sure I could find 10 but I did find some interesting players. Has anyone seen much of Isaac Bonga this year? He looks like a really intriguing player given his skill set and his size.

There's the obvious in Graham and Robinson. Then there are a few sg/pg (Carter, Brunson, Trent) who, at least to date, have shown enough from 3 point range to stick around. Then there are players like Spellman and Kurucs who have shown some ability to be stretch bigs and whatever Mykhailiuk is.

Besides Graham and Robinson, the most appealing (at least on paper) is Bonga.
Note: I liked the Rob Williams selection at the time, so I'm not criticizing Danny here. I believe it's fair to be optimistic about 1st/2nd round picks, but after a couple of seasons its time to take stock.

This is more of an indictment of TL being unable to play/stay healthy, hence improve/develop and the position/role he plays. As you noted above TL's skill set can only make so much of an impact in today's NBA and players like him lose more and more value every year. They've become the definition of fungible. That being said the Celtics will probably bring him back next season at $2MM.

Here is my list of guys that jump TL in a 2018 re-draft (included undrafted players).
1. Mitchell Robinson
2. Devonte Graham
3. Kendrick Nunn
4. Duncan Robinson
5. Mykhailiuk
6. Brunson
7. Melton
8. Spellman
9. Trent
10. Carter
11. Kurucs

IDK about a couple of fringe guys in Brown, Bonga, Milton
 

amarshal2

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 25, 2005
4,758
I think Time Lords athleticism and passing will keep earning him chances and optimism. He can do things that a Theis just can’t and never will be able to. Theis’ shooting isn’t that valuable because nobody respects it so he doesn’t space the floor. If TL can improve his fundamentals and mental game, and of course stay healthy, he has upside beyond the other big men on the roster. That’s why Danny and Brad are going to keep dreaming on him publicly.

Also, the idea that because TL has been hurt a lot his first 1.5 years that it will always be the case is just wrong. Pessimism is warranted but some of the language in here has sounded far too conclusive.

I do agree with the fungible argument at a high level. I don’t think TL is a particularly valuable guy at the moment. But I also think the Celtics would be wise to go with a portfolio approach to big men and trading TL for somebody with a higher floor and lower ceiling doesn’t make sense to me unless there’s something that guy can do fundamentally different/better than what they have. They’ve got their versatile solid role player, their immobile plus rebounder with size to body up big men, and their undersized smart guy with a developing outside shot. A guy who can jump out of the gym with 20 foot arms and who can dominate in a pick and role/lob game but needs to get more fundamentally sound is a good thing to have.
 

DannyDarwinism

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 7, 2007
4,017
I'm not sure how to filter for pick but the first 7 players I saw that meet the criteria were Dejuan Blair, James Edwards, Luis Orr, Marcus Thornton, Jeff Rutland and 2 guys who shouldn't count in Sabonis and Radja. Not that bad a list, considering it's 2nd round+. Sabonis was actually taken in the 4th round.

Going back 20 years, and including late firsts with USG% > 20% and over 1000 minutes played in their rookie years, I also found:

Jordan Poole (anotDubs rookie)
Mirotic
Kuzma
Willy Hernangomez

Beno Udrih
Jordan Clarkson
Andrew Nicholson (19th overall pick)
Bobby Portis (22nd)
Raul Lopez
Sam Young
Allonzo Trier

Zeliko Rebraca
Will Barton
Norris Cole
Tyler Ulis
Rasual Butler
MoPete

Darren Collison (21st)
Gary Neal (undrafted)
Jameer Nelson (20th)
Jamaal Tinsley
Nate Robinson (20th)


Unsurprisingly, it's mostly guys on terrible teams, except for Portis and a couple of others.The international guys were mostly significantly older in their rookie years I don't think the older PGs would be particularly instructive. Then again, I don't know that any of this is particularly instructive, but that leaves the bolded guys as potential comps. Pretty small sample size, but these guys mostly out-performed their draft slots, though didn't necessarily become particularly good players.
 

Devizier

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 3, 2000
11,209
Somewhere
Unsurprisingly, it's mostly guys on terrible teams, except for Portis and a couple of others.The international guys were mostly significantly older in their rookie years I don't think the older PGs would be particularly instructive. Then again, I don't know that any of this is particularly instructive, but that leaves the bolded guys as potential comps. Pretty small sample size, but these guys mostly out-performed their draft slots, though didn't necessarily become particularly good players.
Well, of course, very few become good relative to the league. But sticking at the NBA level is already an indicator of goodness. Basically, if you're good enough to earn minutes and possessions early in your career, you've at least got enough skills to play in the league for a while.
 

NomarsFool

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 21, 2001
3,827
We of course still don't know how his health will be moving forward, but to me, there's a difference between someone being unlucky (like Gordon Hayward, for example) and somebody who just seems fragile (which TL looks like to me). I was really impressed with his play earlier this season - just seemed a lot smarter on the floor this year and his passing was a big surprise. But, the guy seems be constantly injured. So, I'm really hopeful he's going to be able to contribute 10-15 minutes a game going forward - as I think the Celtics could really use him, and he provides a different look than Theis or Kanter. But, I'm also willing to admit that my hope is probably a bit of wishful thinking. Odds are he's going to be hurt again before the end of the season - probably more than once.
 

benhogan

Baynes Hogan (pending trade)
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
8,598
Santa Monica
I think Time Lords athleticism and passing will keep earning him chances and optimism. He can do things that a Theis just can’t and never will be able to. Theis’ shooting isn’t that valuable because nobody respects it so he doesn’t space the floor. If TL can improve his fundamentals and mental game, and of course stay healthy, he has upside beyond the other big men on the roster. That’s why Danny and Brad are going to keep dreaming on him publicly.

Also, the idea that because TL has been hurt a lot his first 1.5 years that it will always be the case is just wrong. Pessimism is warranted but some of the language in here has sounded far too conclusive.

I do agree with the fungible argument at a high level. I don’t think TL is a particularly valuable guy at the moment. But I also think the Celtics would be wise to go with a portfolio approach to big men and trading TL for somebody with a higher floor and lower ceiling doesn’t make sense to me unless there’s something that guy can do fundamentally different/better than what they have. They’ve got their versatile solid role player, their immobile plus rebounder with size to body up big men, and their undersized smart guy with a developing outside shot. A guy who can jump out of the gym with 20 foot arms and who can dominate in a pick and role/lob game but needs to get more fundamentally sound is a good thing to have.
If it's true that we overrate our draft picks, then Rob Williams is exhibit A.

What skill, other than vertical leap, is special with TL? I keep hearing about his elite passing, but his Asst/36, Asst% or Asst/TO is nothing special for a 5.

The best thing about TL's offensive game is the few shots he takes are open layups/dunks. If "nobody respects Theis shooting", how should they feel about TL? Over his career, Rob has a grand total of 1 FGM outside of 8', I'd venture to guess that places him dead last in the NBA. His screen setting is meh. He's fun to watch on rim rolls, but the entire NBA knows that's his complete offensive repertoire.

He was still getting lost on defense earlier this season, 3 months off, I can't imagine it will suddenly be any better. His ON/OFF was a dreadful -10.4 last season. This season not much better at -6.

As far as injuries, he played in 11 straight games, a personal best for TL, prior to going down on Dec. 6th. Then injured for months. I'll be shocked if he can play the last 25 games/playoffs this season. If people feel that is overstating injury concerns then you need to review the # of "didn't dress/inactive" due to injuries since being a Celtic.

Agreed, the portfolio approach is the right strategy in regards to the 5. BUT in order for it to work, you need to play guys like Theis/Kanter limited, specific matchup minutes. When the 3rd member of the portfolio isn't there, then it turns into a classic 5 rotation. Theis/Kanter will eventually get exposed and be overtaxed. It's fine to dream on prospects but that's why the NBA has the G-league and the Celtics have Tacko. It's getting to the end of the season, development minutes are over, players need to show up and be efficient.
 
Last edited:

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
6,313
Kiev, Ukraine
If it's true that we overrate our draft picks, then Rob Williams is exhibit A.

What skill, other than vertical leap, is special with TL? I keep hearing about his elite passing, but his asst/36 or Asst/TO is nothing special for a 5.

The best thing about TL's offensive game is the few shots he takes are open layups/dunks. If "nobody respects Theis shooting", how should they feel about TL? Over his career, Rob has a grand total of 1 FGM outside of 8', I'd venture to guess that places him dead last in the NBA. His screen setting is meh. He's fun to watch on rim rolls, but the entire NBA knows that's his complete offensive repertoire.

He was still getting lost on defense earlier this season, 3 months off, I can't imagine it will suddenly be any better. His ON/OFF was a dreadful -10.4 last season. This season not much better at -6.

As far as injuries, he played in 11 straight games, a personal best for TL, prior to going down on Dec. 6th. Then injured for months. I'll be shocked if he can play the last 25 games/playoffs this season. If people feel that is overstating injury concerns then you need to review the # of "didn't dress/inactive" due to injuries since being a Celtic.

Agreed, the portfolio approach is the right strategy in regards to the 5. BUT in order for it to work, you need to play guys like Theis/Kanter limited, specific matchup minutes. When the 3rd member of the portfolio isn't there, then it turns into a classic 5 rotation. Theis/Kanter will eventually get exposed and be overtaxed. It's fine to dream on prospects but that's why the NBA has the G-league and the Celtics have Tacko. It's getting to the end of the season, development minutes are over, players need to show up and be efficient.
So I basically agree with this, there’s just one part that I’d push back on, and it doesn’t concern TL except indirectly.

The Celtics current offense really doesn’t rely at all on the big shooting. Theis does it once in a blue moon, and it’s sort of nice, but if he couldn’t shoot it would change much, since teams don’t respect his shot anyway.

The factor that pulls centers up high against the Celtics isn’t the threat of the center to shoot—it’s the threat of his screening to open up a shooter or let a driver get downhill.

The Celtics are totally fine offensively with Kanter out there, who doesn’t shoot at all, and he might be more valuable screening than posting up, although that’s a nice change of pace.

I guess this is tangentially related to TL in that I don’t think he needs to really shoot at all to be effective in this system. He would need to screen well, position correctly on offense and be healthy, which I agree hasn’t been there.
 

benhogan

Baynes Hogan (pending trade)
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
8,598
Santa Monica
So I basically agree with this, there’s just one part that I’d push back on, and it doesn’t concern TL except indirectly.

The Celtics current offense really doesn’t rely at all on the big shooting. Theis does it once in a blue moon, and it’s sort of nice, but if he couldn’t shoot it would change much, since teams don’t respect his shot anyway.

The factor that pulls centers up high against the Celtics isn’t the threat of the center to shoot—it’s the threat of his screening to open up a shooter or let a driver get downhill.

The Celtics are totally fine offensively with Kanter out there, who doesn’t shoot at all, and he might be more valuable screening than posting up, although that’s a nice change of pace.

I guess this is tangentially related to TL in that I don’t think he needs to really shoot at all to be effective in this system. He would need to screen well, position correctly on offense and be healthy, which I agree hasn’t been there.
Completely agree. Brad asks very little from his 5 offensively: physicality/screens/health are the most important skills. I give TL an "F" there.

I was pushing back on the notion that if Theis is getting "no respect" what does the NBA feel about one of the worst outside shooters in the NBA?

AND the reality is that Theis, in his career, hits 73% of his FTs and 34% of his 3s, which is perfectly acceptable from a 5 in Brad's system (and is in line with what Al Horford is doing this season with the 76ers).
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
6,313
Kiev, Ukraine
Completely agree. Brad asks very little from his 5 offensively: physicality/screens/health are the most important skills. I give TL an "F" there.

I was pushing back on the notion that if Theis is getting "no respect" what does the NBA feel about one of the worst outside shooters in the NBA?

AND the reality is that Theis, in his career, hits 73% of his FTs and 34% of his 3s, which is perfectly acceptable from a 5 in Brad's system (and is in line with what Al Horford is doing this season with the 76ers).
The point with Theis is that whether he’s respected or not isn’t relevant: if he couldn’t shoot at all nothing in his role would really change.
 

Silas

lurker
Feb 14, 2020
4
Alexandria, VA
Completely agree. Brad asks very little from his 5 offensively: physicality/screens/health are the most important skills. I give TL an "F" there.

I was pushing back on the notion that if Theis is getting "no respect" what does the NBA feel about one of the worst outside shooters in the NBA?

AND the reality is that Theis, in his career, hits 73% of his FTs and 34% of his 3s, which is perfectly acceptable from a 5 in Brad's system (and is in line with what Al Horford is doing this season with the 76ers).
+1 This year Horford is shooting 32.7% for 3s and 73.2% for FTs.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
11,440
If it's true that we overrate our draft picks, then Rob Williams is exhibit A.

What skill, other than vertical leap, is special with TL? I keep hearing about his elite passing, but his Asst/36, Asst% or Asst/TO is nothing special for a 5.

The best thing about TL's offensive game is the few shots he takes are open layups/dunks. If "nobody respects Theis shooting", how should they feel about TL? Over his career, Rob has a grand total of 1 FGM outside of 8', I'd venture to guess that places him dead last in the NBA. His screen setting is meh. He's fun to watch on rim rolls, but the entire NBA knows that's his complete offensive repertoire.

He was still getting lost on defense earlier this season, 3 months off, I can't imagine it will suddenly be any better. His ON/OFF was a dreadful -10.4 last season. This season not much better at -6.

As far as injuries, he played in 11 straight games, a personal best for TL, prior to going down on Dec. 6th. Then injured for months. I'll be shocked if he can play the last 25 games/playoffs this season. If people feel that is overstating injury concerns then you need to review the # of "didn't dress/inactive" due to injuries since being a Celtic.

Agreed, the portfolio approach is the right strategy in regards to the 5. BUT in order for it to work, you need to play guys like Theis/Kanter limited, specific matchup minutes. When the 3rd member of the portfolio isn't there, then it turns into a classic 5 rotation. Theis/Kanter will eventually get exposed and be overtaxed. It's fine to dream on prospects but that's why the NBA has the G-league and the Celtics have Tacko. It's getting to the end of the season, development minutes are over, players need to show up and be efficient.

TL has good vision and he's creative with passes. That doesn't necessarily mean he's a good play maker or passer tho.

It's weird he has that good vision too because he doesn't have BBIQ.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
11,440
The point with Theis is that whether he’s respected or not isn’t relevant: if he couldn’t shoot at all nothing in his role would really change.

If he could shoot well, it would probably change things. Their offense probably doesn't rely on bigs shooting because their bigs can't shoot.

edit: which is another way of saying TL would be fine. They'll adjust what they are doing based on the personal.
 

Jimbodandy

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
3,664
around the way
TL has good vision and he's creative with passes. That doesn't necessarily mean he's a good play maker or passer tho.

It's weird he has that good vision too because he doesn't have BBIQ.
I think that the vision proves that the BBIQ is there, which was probably part of why they drafted him. He is mistake prone for sure, but that could be coachability or focus issues.
 

Eddie Jurak

Go Leafs Go
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
24,341
Melrose, MA
He has 550 MBA minutes across 2 seasons. I don't think that's enough time to make any really harsh judgments about him. There are glaring deificiences in his game, to be sure, but it is too early to say what he will learn with experience and what he won't.
 

benhogan

Baynes Hogan (pending trade)
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
8,598
Santa Monica
He has 550 MBA minutes across 2 seasons. I don't think that's enough time to make any really harsh judgments about him. There are glaring deificiences in his game, to be sure, but it is too early to say what he will learn with experience and what he won't.
I may agree with this if he played another position and if TL was healthy/improving. BUT the modern NBA is evolving and TL's ultimate upside (YMMV here) isn't worth a whole lot (ie Danny can find numerous productive 5s for cheap money).

note: Yabusele, a higher draft pick and costlier, was cut and extended after 2 unproductive seasons.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
11,440
I may agree with this if he played another position and if TL was healthy/improving. BUT the modern NBA is evolving and TL's ultimate upside (YMMV here) isn't worth a whole lot (ie Danny can find numerous productive 5s for cheap money).

note: Yabusele, a higher draft pick and costlier, was cut and extended after 2 unproductive seasons.
Zizic probably doesn't last much longer either. This board seriously bought into the Zizic hype too.
 

bowiac

I've been living a lie.
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 18, 2003
12,633
New York, NY
If it's true that we overrate our draft picks, then Rob Williams is exhibit A.

What skill, other than vertical leap, is special with TL? I keep hearing about his elite passing, but his Asst/36, Asst% or Asst/TO is nothing special for a 5.
His assist % is very good for a young 5. Albeit in limited minutes, he ranks 9th in the NBA in AST% among bigs, age 24 and under.

I wouldn't read too much into that by itself, but it's something you can squint at and see potential based off of.
 

benhogan

Baynes Hogan (pending trade)
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
8,598
Santa Monica
His assist % is very good for a young 5. Albeit in limited minutes, he ranks 9th in the NBA in AST% among bigs, age 24 and under.

I wouldn't read too much into that by itself, but it's something you can squint at and see potential based off of.
while we're squinting his FG% is otherworldly

over 19 games, really SSS...his AST% was uninspiring last season over a bigger sample size

Theis has a better and more consistent AST%, maybe its more system then Steve Austin type vision
 
Last edited:

bowiac

I've been living a lie.
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 18, 2003
12,633
New York, NY
"very good." He's 9/17.
I created a cutoff there of a 5% AST rate to make the chart simpler. The point is that a 10% assist rate is pretty strong for a young big. Typical assist rates for "raw, but athletic" bigs are much lower (e.g., Mitchell Robinson at 3.8%, Capela at around 5%, Drummond at around 5%, etc...).

DARKO projects his assist rate at 9.43% going forward, and his 2pt FG at 62%.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
6,313
Kiev, Ukraine
If he could shoot well, it would probably change things. Their offense probably doesn't rely on bigs shooting because their bigs can't shoot.

edit: which is another way of saying TL would be fine. They'll adjust what they are doing based on the personal.
Right, exactly. Of course they’d love it if Theis could shoot lights-out, and they’d work it in, but they currently have designed one of the leagues’s best offenses around centers screening, sealing, and finishing inside.

It’s actually pretty impressive: I didn’t think before the season they’d be able to be this dynamic offensively given those constraints. They look a lot better than they did when the much more gifted Horford was playing a worse offensive system last year.
 

benhogan

Baynes Hogan (pending trade)
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
8,598
Santa Monica
I created a cutoff there of a 5% AST rate to make the chart simpler. The point is that a 10% assist rate is pretty strong for a young big. Typical assist rates for "raw, but athletic" bigs are much lower (e.g., Mitchell Robinson at 3.8%, Capela at around 5%, Drummond at around 5%, etc...).

DARKO projects his assist rate at 9.43% going forward, and his 2pt FG at 62%.
how about his steals and blocks? he must project to be fringe All-NBA defense
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
11,440
how about his steals and blocks? he must project to be fringe All-NBA defense

He's an elite shot blocker. By eye and by blk%. Of course being an elite shot blocker doesn't mean anything and doesn't even mean you're good at defense.
 

bowiac

I've been living a lie.
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 18, 2003
12,633
New York, NY
His block rate is very good, but blocks are not a tremendously meaningful stat by themselves for a low minute big (since you can sell out for blocks by fouling out). His steal rate is good, but there's more noise there than in assists or blocks.

The value of assists for a big is that they're an "out of position" stat, and are harder to come by from your C. They thus are more likely to represent "value added." More generally, the path to a big man being relevant in the modern NBA relies largely on outside shooting, or passing, as it's the best way to prevent yourself from causing spacing issues when you're on the floor.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
11,440
His block rate is very good, but blocks are not a tremendously meaningful stat by themselves for a low minute big (since you can sell out for blocks by fouling out). His steal rate is good, but there's more noise there than in assists or blocks.

The value of assists for a big is that they're an "out of position" stat, and are harder to come by from your C.
This is becoming less true by the day. There are tons of good passing big men in the league now.
 

bowiac

I've been living a lie.
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 18, 2003
12,633
New York, NY
That's a good point, and perhaps my internal rubric of what a good AST% for a young big needs updating. Not sure yet however, given how many guys in the "young athletic big" never get there however.
 

amarshal2

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 25, 2005
4,758
Completely agree. Brad asks very little from his 5 offensively: physicality/screens/health are the most important skills. I give TL an "F" there.

I was pushing back on the notion that if Theis is getting "no respect" what does the NBA feel about one of the worst outside shooters in the NBA?

AND the reality is that Theis, in his career, hits 73% of his FTs and 34% of his 3s, which is perfectly acceptable from a 5 in Brad's system (and is in line with what Al Horford is doing this season with the 76ers).
Other people have pointed out that he's got things that if you squint, you can see how he'd develop. As I said in the initial post you quoted, I agree he isn't very good right now or worth much. I don't know where the suggestion that I'm somehow some green colored glasses lover of celtics prospects or TL comes from. Just look at my posting history on TL. I've been pretty rough on the guy.

The thing that gets me is that your point seems to be that he's such a failure they should give up/move on. Clearly, he has not done a good job progressing on his defensive positioning and he has not stayed healthy. It's concerning. But you are basically saying, "this guy is worth nothing, trade him for literally anybody who could maybe play the 5 and isn't hurt." I just don't know where the evidence is that a guy is supposed to be fully developed or even have progressed significantly 552 minutes into his NBA career. If other first round draft picks of similar age who are this bad pretty much never turn into something that would be compelling. Or what about evidence that a guy who has a string of unrelated injuries that keep him out chunks of two years is doomed to always be injured? Would've been crazy if the Sixers had just decided Embiid would never be healthy. Or Markelle Fultz. Oh wait, whoops.

Do we know any of this? Or are we all just guessing?

Maybe the better question is where is TL on our individual cut lists? I'd cut Tacko, Semi (Grant can fill his role), Green (Romeo can fill his role), and VP (he's like 4 years older than TL) for sure before I cut TL. I'd have to think about it with Carsen and Waters. (I've come around slightly on Wannamaker as the best catch and shoot 3 pt role player on the bench. There's a need for that on this team. On a team with shooters on the bench I'd cut him.)
 

benhogan

Baynes Hogan (pending trade)
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
8,598
Santa Monica
Since I said none of the above that's "quoted" I'm not going to bother addressing it.

Here is what I literally said in post #357:
This is more of an indictment of TL being unable to play/stay healthy, hence improve/develop and the position/role he plays. As you noted above TL's skill set can only make so much of an impact in today's NBA and players like him lose more and more value every year. They've become the definition of fungible. That being said the Celtics will probably bring him back next season at $2MM.
TL is cheap and controllable. Green probably gets cut first, but don't know. We'll see how the buyout market shapes up.
 
Last edited:

ifmanis5

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 29, 2007
38,430
Rotten Apple
TL actually practiced today and hopes to be back around March 1st.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
9,061
There is zero chance of Robert Williams getting cut this season; Poirier or Green are far more likely to be casualties if they decide to add a player from the buyout market.

There is also zero chance of Williams being cut or dumped during the offseason (barring any unexpected news, of course). He may be traded as part of a larger trade for salary matching purposes, but it's clear that Ainge and Stevens have a higher opinion of R. Williams and his "fungible" skills than the average message board poster.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
6,313
Kiev, Ukraine
There is zero chance of Robert Williams getting cut this season; Poirier or Green are far more likely to be casualties if they decide to add a player from the buyout market.

There is also zero chance of Williams being cut or dumped during the offseason (barring any unexpected news, of course). He may be traded as part of a larger trade for salary matching purposes, but it's clear that Ainge and Stevens have a higher opinion of R. Williams and his "fungible" skills than the average message board poster.
Re his "fungible" skills: I agree, and I think too many different questions are being conflated with TL.

1. Can he stay healthy?
2. Does he/can he learn to intuit basketball well enough to be an offensive and defensive positive?
3. Can he learn to move his feet/hips well enough to play defense up to his physical potential?
4. If the answers to 1 and 2 and 3 are yes, is he much better than waiting to sign a veteran center?

I'm fine weighting 1 somewhat towards "no", 2 more heavily towards "no", and 3 closer to "yes".

Where I disagree is wrt #4. Mobile super-athletic guys with 7-5 wingspan and 9-4 standing reach are absolutely valuable in today's NBA, even if they can't shoot a lick, if they know how to play the game. The reason most centers are fungible is that they don't have the physical attributes to be those types of defensive game-changers--their best attribute is that they are large humans who get in the way.

TL has a very, very unique physical profile, and as lexrageorge said, the Celtics are going to do what they can to see if that profile can pan out on the court, even it's a massive longshot that I'm skeptical of, because it would really alter the course of the franchise to have a center like that to play with Tatum/Brown/Smart.
 

benhogan

Baynes Hogan (pending trade)
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
8,598
Santa Monica
There is zero chance of Robert Williams getting cut this season; Poirier or Green are far more likely to be casualties if they decide to add a player from the buyout market.

There is also zero chance of Williams being cut or dumped during the offseason (barring any unexpected news, of course). He may be traded as part of a larger trade for salary matching purposes, but it's clear that Ainge and Stevens have a higher opinion of R. Williams and his "fungible" skills than the average message board poster.
I'm not saying TL is getting cut/dumped for nothing now or in the near term. The original question was, who would you rather have Marquese Chriss or Robert Williams? I'd much rather have Chriss since he has played, is developing/improving, was a higher-rated/drafted prospect, and can be counted on to provide minutes in the future.

Heading into the end of the season/playoffs, TL is the 3rd string, potentially 4th string center if Grant continues to shoot 3s as he has for over 2 months (and there will be minutes in the payoffs when the C's go with their 5 best). TL is injury insurance for the Celtic's very effective "fungible" duo of Theis/Kanter. This average message board poster would have rather had Danny add a dependable back-up 5 instead of counting on the oft-injured TL. It would be a back of the roster move, TL has not been cleared to play and the buyout market isn't over yet. So we'll see.

As I've said numerous times, TL will probably get another year at $2MM since he's cheap and athletic for his size. BUT doubt the C's can keep all their raw 5's next season, one of TL, VP and Tacko will probably have to go this summer.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
6,313
Kiev, Ukraine
I'm not saying TL is getting cut/dumped for nothing now or in the near term. The original question was, who would you rather have Marquese Chriss or Robert Williams? I'd much rather have Chriss since he has played, is developing/improving, was a higher-rated/drafted prospect, and can be counted on to provide minutes in the future.

Heading into the end of the season/playoffs, TL is the 3rd string, potentially 4th string center if Grant continues to shoot 3s as he has for over 2 months (and there will be minutes in the payoffs when the C's go with their 5 best). TL is injury insurance for the Celtic's very effective "fungible" duo of Theis/Kanter. This average message board poster would have rather had Danny add a dependable back-up 5 instead of counting on the oft-injured TL. It would be a back of the roster move, TL has not been cleared to play and the buyout market isn't over yet. So we'll see.

As I've said numerous times, TL will probably get another year at $2MM since he's cheap and athletic for his size. BUT doubt the C's can keep all their raw 5's next season, one of TL, VP and Tacko will probably have to go this summer.
I’d probably dump the 26 year-old with zero upside and no current production, whom Brad trusts less than Tacko. Doesn’t seem like a hard decision.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
9,061
I'm not saying TL is getting cut/dumped for nothing now or in the near term. The original question was, who would you rather have Marquese Chriss or Robert Williams? I'd much rather have Chriss since he has played, is developing/improving, was a higher-rated/drafted prospect, and can be counted on to provide minutes in the future.

Heading into the end of the season/playoffs, TL is the 3rd string, potentially 4th string center if Grant continues to shoot 3s as he has for over 2 months (and there will be minutes in the payoffs when the C's go with their 5 best). TL is injury insurance for the Celtic's very effective "fungible" duo of Theis/Kanter. This average message board poster would have rather had Danny add a dependable back-up 5 instead of counting on the oft-injured TL. It would be a back of the roster move, TL has not been cleared to play and the buyout market isn't over yet. So we'll see.

As I've said numerous times, TL will probably get another year at $2MM since he's cheap and athletic for his size. BUT doubt the C's can keep all their raw 5's next season, one of TL, VP and Tacko will probably have to go this summer.
The team has already exercised its option on Williams for next season. Poirier's $2.6M is not going to prevent him from being cut next year, as he's shown far, far, far less than Robert Williams so far. The best case for Poirier is that he gets bundled with one of the Celtic's surplus first rounders during the summer.

The bolded is a fair criticism of Ainge's non-moves this season, but my working assumption is that noone was available at an attractive price that could have fit.
 

RetractableRoof

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2003
2,953
Quincy, MA
As one of the average (assuming I'm that high in the rankings) posters, I'd rather have R. Williams healthy and available and developing the remainder of the year to see what he can contribute than "insert dependable backup 5 here". For one thing, dependable how? 1) A heartbeat? I think over the remainder of the schedule, he'll likely have one and be available on the bench. 2) Defensively? I think what he does do defensively is valuable, especially in Stevens controlled substitution patterns. That doesn't mean that he'll be switching and rotating as well as Theis for example, but his athleticism and wingspan allow him to recover and surprise people which itself is valuable in spots. I'm not sure who else that was an affordable option provides the same. Assuming the unnamed replacement 5 is also unable to rotate/switch to Stevens exacting standards (given the schedule and limited practice time frame left), who's available where athleticism/wing span can offset those inadequacies more than Williams? 3) Offensively? The Cs don't run much if any of their offense through the center. As we've talked about here, they are expected to screen/seal/rebound/garbage collect. R. Williams still needs to improve a great deal in the screen actions, but he rebounds and garbage collects well and is probably the best recipient of specialty plays that require a leap and finish that Brad occasionally designs out of timeouts. Again, I'm not sure who that was available adds enough more in the screen actions that are probably William's largest offensive weakness - especially given the short time frame to gain cohesion in the Stevens desired Cs role.

It's the COST of the short term upgrade over Williams - the LOSS of his potential growth going forward versus a bet on his HEALTH. I'm not sure that a marginal performance increase for a "dependable" 5 is worth the cost of Williams still remaining potential (and clearly not for Ainge given his knowledge of both William's medicals and the replacement cost). Especially if the view is "insurance policy" versus productive contributor. I think the drop off between what Theis (and Kanter on offense when healthy) is bringing and a "dependable insurance 5" is likely to be large enough to not make it a viable insurance policy - more just a different body. Theis is so adept/conscientious at the Screen & Seal (aka the Gortat?), that if he is lost the offense loses a large number of relatively easy baskets. R. Williams insertion doesn't restore that Screen & Seal set, and I don't believe that the average "dependable insurance 5" does either. So what is actually being gained to offset the loss of Williams future growth? Ainge is coldly able to walk away from a player with a problem, or an injury - if he saw something in Williams medicals that contained a "long term health flag", you guys would be right and Williams would probably already be gone.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
11,440
There is zero chance of Robert Williams getting cut this season; Poirier or Green are far more likely to be casualties if they decide to add a player from the buyout market.

There is also zero chance of Williams being cut or dumped during the offseason (barring any unexpected news, of course). He may be traded as part of a larger trade for salary matching purposes, but it's clear that Ainge and Stevens have a higher opinion of R. Williams and his "fungible" skills than the average message board poster.

The two aren't mutually exclusive. You can think Robert Williams is fungible and not be cut. We already have him and he's cost controlled. So he's cheap fungible. I think the same thing about guys like Semi and Wanamaker.
 

NomarsFool

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 21, 2001
3,827
I think if a half-way decent big became available on the buyout market, the Celtics would be rather foolish not to kick the tires on him. That does NOT mean cutting TL - he's not getting cut. But, they could look at whether the big was an upgrade over Poirier and/or whether the big was worth parting with Javonte Green.

Much as been written about the role of 5s in today's NBA, but for the Celtics - Theis and Kanter play a lot of meaningful minutes AND both of those guys have been banged up and missed games. IF something were to happen to one of those guys, the Celtics would be significantly impacted and replacing them with say - Tristan Thompson - might be less disruptive to the team than trying to have, for example, Grant Williams start playing 30+ minutes a night.
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
37,245
Low key, super important to get this guy minutes the rest of the season. I’m still bullish on his skill set.
 

amarshal2

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 25, 2005
4,758
It TL is hurt and it’s game 7 of the ECF and you have to choose one Celtic from the starting lineup to sit the whole game, who do you choose?

I feel like the choice is between Hayward and Theis. If TL is out, I’m choosing Hayward. The drop from GH to Smart and Romeo/Semi and Wanamaker is less than the drop from Theis to Kanter/Williams.

it TL is healthy I’d choose Theis. That’s the power of TL. They need him for depth.
 

Imbricus

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 26, 2017
2,105
Time Lord returning on Leap Day is the most perfectly Time Lord thing ever.
Ah. Tweets you wish you had tweeted. This is perfect.

Separately, I'm with Jed Zeppelin. I like Time Lord's raw skills. Kid can pass. He can hang with little guys on the perimeter. He's still in the wrong place on defense too often, but that will come around. My main concerns with him right now: (1) durability, naturally (2) desire -- there are times when he doesn't seem fully engaged.

The good thing on (2) is that, having sat so long and twiddled his thumbs, I think he's going to come back with a lot of energy and eager to make a statement.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
11,440
Ah. Tweets you wish you had tweeted. This is perfect.

Separately, I'm with Jed Zeppelin. I like Time Lord's raw skills. Kid can pass. He can hang with little guys on the perimeter. He's still in the wrong place on defense too often, but that will come around. My main concerns with him right now: (1) durability, naturally (2) desire -- there are times when he doesn't seem fully engaged.

The good thing on (2) is that, having sat so long and twiddled his thumbs, I think he's going to come back with a lot of energy and eager to make a statement.
I dunno about 2. I think that's his personality. He got the nickname for a reason and I remember some comments from his sister suggesting he's kind of care-free or whatever.