Opening Up The Files On The Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics: Payton Pritchard has value around the league

Boston Celtics third-year guard Payton Pritchard is growing interest on the trade market this season as the former first round draft pick is simply just not in the crowded rotation right now.

With Marcus Smart, Derrick White, and the addition of Malcolm Brogdon, it’s hard for Pritchard to find time on the court this season and it’s truly no fault of his own.

Inevitably, Pritchard’s minutes were going to take a hit with Brogdon in Boston, but the Celtics still went ahead and picked up his fourth-year team option anyways, keeping him around until 2024, as he does have value on the Celtics, despite not playing much. 

When you think about the guard depth, Smart and Brogdon have already missed games and will miss more for load management reasons throughout the regular season, leaving White as the only true ball handler on the team. 

Looking at it from this perspective, it’s almost as if Boston needs to keep Pritchard for the rest of the season. That said, if Boston is looking to make a move here, Pritchard is their best asset to play with at the moment. 

So it does really come down to how well Brad Stevens is able to “sift through what’s a blip and what’s real”. That said, it’s fair to say what Pritchard is capable of providing is not a blip and is every bit real as he shoots over 40 percent for his career (43% from the field and 40% from deep).

Heavy’s Steve Bulpett recently noted that Pritchard is gaining some “attention” around the league:

“Payton Pritchard is attracting some attention. His minutes were expected to take a hit with the acquisition of Malcolm Brogdon, and it appears he’s been pushed out of the rotation entirely when the Celtics are at full point guard-capable strength.”

“Not surprisingly, Pritchard’s new situation has other teams sniffing around. Clubs have been investigating whether he might be worth pursuing in a trade (he makes $2.2 million this year and $4.0 million next.”

After starting the season with a string of DNPCD’s, Pritchard has gone on to play in 21 games and is averaging 4.4 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game.

He’s shown to be the spark plug off the bench the Celtics desperately need at times but the team has favored both size and experience, both of which Pritchard doesn’t have.

Ultimately, the Celtics will use Pritchard as a trade piece to upgrade another position, perhaps wing or center reinforcements that could play meaningful minutes down the stretch for this championship caliber team.

Another option they have is to simply move on from Pritchard, sending him to a better situation in exchange for a future draft pick.

Wherever Pritchard ends up, if he’s even on the move, it’s fair to say he’ll land on his feet and do what he does best, be a baller.

Follow us on Twitter @CelticsFiles

Photo Credit: Charles Krupa, AP Photo


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