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NBA notebook: Grant Williams focused on Celtics’ success, not contract status

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The clock is ticking on a contract extension for Grant Williams, however the Celtics forward doesn’t seem apprehensive about it.

Lower than two weeks remain until Oct. 17, which is the deadline for the Celtics and Williams to finalize a contract extension. Williams is eligible for an extension because he’s entering the fourth and final yr of his rookie contract, but when a deal isn’t reached, the 2 sides could have to attend until next offseason to figure something out.

Asked for an update on contract talks during Wednesday morning’s shootaround before the Celtics’ preseason game against the Raptors, Williams wasn’t giving it much thought.

“I couldn’t even let you know,” Williams said. “I leave that stuff as much as my agents; that’s between my agents, Brad (Stevens), (Mike) Zarren and people guys. Whatever they wish to get done, they wish to get done. But for me, I’m just approaching each day as if I either have it or I don’t have it. Just play the sport the best way, make sure that the team’s winning and give attention to the last word goal of mine and that stuff will deal with itself. For me, I’m so locked in on the basketball side of things. Contract, anything of that nature, if it happens, I’ll be comfortable, but until then, let’s just play it out the way in which we’re.”

Williams is seeking to take one other step forward this season after making huge strides last yr as he became a threat from 3-point range, shooting 41.1 percent while consistently being asked to defend a few of the perfect scorers within the league. The 23-year-old might need a heavier workload to start out the season due to absence of Rob Williams (left knee surgery), but he seems ready for whatever role he’s assigned.

“If it changes, I’ll see,” Williams said. “But for me, I just go along with what the day comes. There could be a day after I’m asked to protect anyone. It could be a day where I’m asked to play a unique role. For me, it’s only a matter of perspective, understanding where you’re at and never attempting to force anything because opportunity could be available, but you could have to do your job to seize the chance the best way with the best mindset and right intensity.”

PELICANS: Zion Williamson scored 13 points and grabbed 4 rebounds over quarter-hour late Tuesday night in his return after a lost season due to a broken foot, as Latest Orleans beat Chicago.

Williamson looked explosive in his first game motion in 17 months. His last game before he injured his right foot was on May 4, 2021, and doctors didn’t deem him 100% healthy until May.

“It was just type of getting a feel for it again,” Williamson said. “Finding spots. Picking and selecting when I need to attack. Got a recent team for the reason that last time I played. Still learning a number of the guys. Today, we were capable of click. If we are able to do this for the remaining of those preseason games, I feel like we’ll be in pretty good condition.”

Cameras ceaselessly caught Williamson smiling throughout Tuesday’s game. Following Saturday’s open practice, Williamson said he’s able to be a part of “something special” in Latest Orleans. There may be an extended road ahead, but Tuesday’s preseason win in Chicago was a very good first step.

“It’s almost like that college bond you could have when everyone seems to be so close,” Williamson said. “With this team, everyone desires to see one another succeed. Every time anybody does something, we’re all celebrating it. You possibly can see it.”

WIZARDS: Corey Kispert is anticipated to miss 4 to 6 weeks due to a sprained left ankle, the team announced.

Kispert stepped on an opponent’s foot during Sunday’s preseason game in Japan against the Golden State Warriors. The Wizards open the regular season Oct. 19 at Indiana, so this timetable will surely keep Kispert out for the primary few games.

The 6-foot-6 Kispert, Washington’s first-round draft pick before last season, averaged 8.2 points in 77 games as a rookie.

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