Sometimes, you can have too much of a good thing. The Boston Celtics have a loaded backcourt that goes 3 deep at some positions, but because of that depth, one guard finds himself out of a role despite being a key player during the last postseason.
That player is Payton Pritchard, the final first-round draft pick of the Danny Ainge era. Pritchard had 3 double-digit scoring efforts against the Miami Heat during the 2022 Eastern Conference finals and saw the floor for all 6 games of the NBA Finals but has a DNP – coach’s decision in half the team’s games this season.
Even with Pritchard’s limited minutes, he’s still managed to hit 2/4 3-point attempts, showing that he has value as an efficient long-range sniper in the second unit. Still, Joe Mazzulla is giving the minutes Pritchard used to get to the offseason’s marquee addition, Malcolm Brogdon.
Even with his team option recently picked up, Pritchard could still end up being traded by the Boston Celtics — this according to MassLive’s Brian Robb in a piece exploring what his option means for the team moving forward:
“The Celtics picked up Pritchard’s option for next year but he is still eligible to be traded at any point during this year. That’s important given the complexion of Boston’s roster at this point where Pritchard, a key rotation player for the team last year and a valuable trade chip, remains on the outside of Joe Mazzulla’s rotation for the time being due to the team’s improved depth.”
How the Boston Celtics could use Payton Pritchard in a trade
Payton Pritchard is the meal ticket for the Boston Celtics to upgrade their roster without giving up a key veteran. Malcolm Brogdon’s expiring contract, valued at $22.6 million this season, would normally be the best asset, but he has proven essential to the second unit.
Should they decide to dangle him in a proposal, the likely course of action would be waiting until December 15 for Danilo Gallinari’s dead money deal signed this past July to be trade eligible. Combining their salaries and sprinkling in future draft picks could get them in consideration for a guy like Jakob Poeltl or even a Nic Claxton should the San Antonio Spurs or Brooklyn Nets enter asset-hoarding mode.