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Celtics roster report card: Grading Grant Williams, Payton Pritchard, and the rest of the non-rotation players

Payton Pritchard (left) and Grant Williams (right) never quite managed to crack the playoff rotation.Kevin C. Cox/Getty

Here are evaluations of the bottom half of the Celtics roster for the 2022-23 season. Players are graded based on performance related to expectations, not simply skill level.

Read part 2 here: Grading Malcolm Brogdon, Al Horford, Derrick White, and Robert Williams

Grant Williams: B-minus

The indelible image of Williams’s perplexing season came during Game 2 of the conference finals, when his trash talk seemed to ignite Miami star Jimmy Butler, who led the Heat’s comeback that eventually sparked a Finals berth. But Williams also stood up to Butler when no one else would. It was another example of how dissecting his value is never simple.


Last fall, the forward turned down Boston’s extension offer and bet on himself. He actually played well when he had chances, serving as a valuable defender and a good shooter who improved at attacking close-outs. But when the playoffs arrived, he surprisingly spent long stretches outside of coach Joe Mazzulla’s rotation. He sat out five games and played very little in several others, despite connecting on 45 percent of his 3-pointers during the postseason.

But advanced numbers were unkind to Williams, particularly during the playoffs, when the Celtics were 10.3 points per 100 possessions better when he was off the court rather than on it. It’ll be fascinating to see how Williams is viewed around the league when free agency opens in a few weeks.

Payton Pritchard: C

It was an incredibly frustrating season for Pritchard, who made it clear that he hoped to be traded before the February deadline and then voiced his disappointment when he was not. The addition of Malcolm Brogdon and the emergence of Derrick White, combined with the general good health of Boston’s backcourt, knocked the third-year guard out of the rotation for most of the year.

He appeared in just 48 games and averaged a career-low 13.4 minutes. Mazzulla sometimes turned to Pritchard to give the team a jolt of energy when the overall play was sluggish, but his lack of rhythm made even those chances challenging. Pritchard hit more than 40 percent of his 3-pointers in each of his first two seasons but made a career-low 36.4 percent this year.


In his first full NBA regular season, Sam Hauser hit 41.8 percent of his 3-point attempts while averaging 16 minutes per game.Erin Clark/Globe Staff
Sam Hauser: B-plus

When forward Danilo Gallinari tore an ACL last September, some fans clamored for the Celtics to make a move to fortify their bench. But the team’s brass was confident in Hauser, the second-year forward who signed a two-way deal after going undrafted in 2021. Hauser mostly delivered, serving as a valuable 3-point outlet when opponents smothered Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

Hauser had some shooting lulls but did a good job snapping out of them. After making 29.5 percent of his 3-pointers in December and January, he drilled 45.7 percent in February and March. Hauser is viewed as a weak link on defense but his 106.4 defensive rating actually ranked second on the Celtics behind Rob Williams. No, that’s not an indication that Hauser is a lockdown defender, but teams strayed from their normal game plans to hunt mismatches against him, and he held up quite well.

Blake Griffin: B

Griffin is a 34-year-old six-time All-Star with nothing really to prove, but the hustle he displayed whenever he received a chance belied his age and stature. He took charges, went flying across the court in search of loose balls, and generally gave Boston a boost with his presence. He never publicly voiced displeasure about having such a minor role and seemed to provide a steady presence in the locker room, too. A few strong performances near the end of the season made it seem as if he might even get a chance to crack the playoff rotation, but that never happened.


Luke Kornet: B

Rob Williams missed 47 games and Al Horford did not play on back-to-back nights, and Kornet generally filled in admirably. His familiarity and comfort with Boston’s system was obvious. Kornet made a career-high 66.5 percent of his shots and averaged 11.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 2.1 blocks per 36 minutes. For a team well over the luxury-tax line, Kornet’s nonguaranteed minimum deal for next season is good value.

Mike Muscala: C

The Celtics sent the Thunder two second-round picks in exchange for Muscala in February to bolster their frontcourt depth. There were no substantial injuries, though, and Muscala never carved out a spot in the regular rotation with his play. Opponents sought mismatches against him often.

Justin Champagnie: Incomplete

The Celtics filled their final roster spot by signing the 21-year-old wing during the final week of the regular season. His contract for next season is nonguaranteed, but he should get a look during training camp.

JD Davison (two-way contract): C-plus

The rookie point guard, who is still just 20 years old, had a solid season with the team’s G League affiliate in Maine, averaging 8.7 assists. Davison’s shooting still needs work, and it seems most likely that he’ll return on a second two-way deal next year before the team makes a decision about whether he fits into the long-term plan. He played just 66 minutes with the Celtics.


Mfiondu Kabengele (two-way contract): C

The 2019 first-round pick parlayed a strong showing on the Celtics’ Las Vegas summer league squad into a two-way deal last July, but he was unable to earn playing time in Boston. Kabengele averaged 20 points and 10.8 rebounds in Maine, but as a fifth-year player he’ll no longer be eligible for a two-way contract, so his time as a Celtic has likely come to an end.

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Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at Follow him @adamhimmelsbach.