Former Tennessee basketball forward could get ring if Dallas Mavericks win NBA Finals

Colgate v Tennessee
Colgate v Tennessee / Elsa/GettyImages

The NBA Finals officially tip-off on Thursday, June 6, with the Dallas Mavericks traveling to New England to take on the Boston Celtics for the series' first two games. Tennessee basketball doesn't have a former player on either team, but that doesn't mean a VFL could go without a ring this year. 

Former Tennessee forward Grant Williams has played for both the Celtics and Mavericks in his career. Boston drafted him in the first round with the 22nd overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft. He spent his first four seasons with the Celtics before moving on to Dallas last offseason. 

The Mavericks picked up Williams and that's where he played 47 games this past season before being traded to the Charlotte Hornets. This opens the door for Williams to be offered a ring by the Mavericks organization if they defeat the Celtics since he played nearly 50 games with the Mavs. 

Williams averaged 8.1 points per game for the Mavs, matching his season average in the 2022-23 season with the Celtics, but that wasn't enough to stay in Dallas through the end of the season. 

The trade seems to be working out for both sides, though. Williams averaged 13.9 points, 3.2 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game, which are all career highs. On top of a strong finish to his season with the Hornets, Williams could be the proud new owner of a Dallas Mavericks NBA Championship ring by the end of the month. 

Sure, it's not the same as if he had remained with the team and helped the Mavs defeat the Celtics, but it would be the first time a former Vol received an NBA Championship ring since Jordan McRae in 2016. Williams would also be the third Vol ever to receive an NBA Championship ring.