As the Boston Celtics continue to separate themselves from the pack in the Eastern Conference, stacking up multi-game win streaks in between the far more infrequent losses, trade talk becomes more irrelevant. Still, things change quickly in the NBA. Injuries can change the tune as can bad losses. As the Celtics approach the trade deadline on February 9, the thinking currently revolves around flipping reserves and draft picks for insurance.
Had the Cs won the championship last June, there’d probably be minimal trade talks right now. Since they didn’t, it’s on Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens to not let the current title window close — with cries of wasting the upcoming deadline a potential side effect of an early postseason exit in 2023.
Not looking to waste the current moment, ClutchPoints’ Gerard Angelo Samillano wrote a piece talking about two players the Celtics must move over the next few weeks, and his inclusions were two shooting specialists: Payton Pritchard and Danilo Gallinari.
Weighing the pros and cons of Boston Celtics trading Payton Pritchard
While it could do damage to future free agent trust to trade Danilo Gallinari before he ever steps foot on the floor, it wouldn’t be hard to justify dealing away dead money in order to pursue a championship. Gallinari himself would likely understand, though that would likely depend on where he is shipped.
Things are a little more complicated when it comes to Payton Pritchard. Pritchard’s trajectory seemed to be soaring following the 2022 Eastern Conference finals series against the Miami Heat, but the acquisition of Malcolm Brogdon essentially glued him to the bench during the current campaign. Still, Pritchard is on a rookie-scale contract and could likely be retained at a similar rate to what T.J. McConnell is currently making (mid-level money).
Dealing away Pritchard and watching him thrive would be worse than Aaron Nesmith, who never showed the potential in Boston’s offense like Pritchard did. Unless the potential deal was too good to pass up, the Boston front office may be better off keeping him around until he explicitly asks for a trade for a bigger role. And who knows? Perhaps he’ll play his way into one instead.