The Boston Celtics have selected Texas A&M power forward Robert Williams with the No. 27 pick in the NBA draft.
The 6-foot-10, 237-pound sophomore is a two-time Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year. He averaged 10.4 points and 9.2 rebounds for the Aggies last year. He had been projected as a lottery pick.
Brad Stevens said the team began eying Williams when pick No. 17 rolled around.
"Each pick, we were hoping more and more that he would be available at 27," Stevens said.
While Williams didn't work out with the Celtics, Stevens was quoted in a Celtics tweet as saying, "nobody works harder than Danny [Ainge]. Nobody works harder than our front office to go and watch players all year long."
The Celtics followed an appearance in the 2017 Eastern Conference finals with an offseason overhaul that brought in Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving. Despite losing both of them to injuries during the season, they returned to the league's final four.
They had picked third in back-to-back years, landing Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, thanks to the trades that dismantled their 2008 championship team. Williams could replace free agent Aron Baynes as a big man in the rotation behind Al Horford.