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Rockets could reunite Ime Udoka with ex-Celtics player at trade deadline?

Ime Udoka on the sideline

Oct 31, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ime Udoka against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ime Udoka may be getting one of his old stagehands back.

Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports reported Friday that the Houston Rockets are considering a move for an interesting name at the trade deadline — Robert Williams, the ex-Boston Celtics big man. Williams is now on the Portland Trail Blazers but is currently sidelined with a right knee injury.

Udoka, the head coach of the Rockets, is obviously familiar with Williams. He coached Williams on the Celtics during the 2021-22 campaign and relied on Williams as his starting center for Boston’s run to the Finals that year.

These days in Houston, Udoka could still utilize the skills that Williams, a strong shot-blocker, rebounder, and energy guy, provides. Starting center Alperen Sengun is already one of the best offensive big men in basketball but has plenty of work to do defensively. Meanwhile, the aging, undersized Jeff Green and the low-upside Jock Landale are currently getting the backup 5 minutes for the Rockets (with a little bit of Jabari Smith Jr. mixed in too).

Of course, Williams is expected to miss the rest of the season with his injury. But with Williams still under contract through 2026, this could be the perfect buy-low opportunity for Udoka and the Rockets to strike.


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