Boston Celtics guard gets massive opportunity on USA Select Team

Boston Celtics (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /

Starting on July 26, 2023, the United States Men’s Basketball team will begin its quest for a record-sixth FIBA Basketball World Cup title. A total of 12 players including Tyrese Haliburton, and Anthony Edwards will be traveling to represent the Stars and Stripes in Indonesia, Japan, and the Phillippines. Before the team does so, there will be a training camp in Las Vegas. That is where Payton Pritchard of the Boston Celtics comes in.

According to a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday morning on the east coast, Pritchard will be a part of the “USA Select Team”, a group of players that will compete alongside the competitors heading off the represent the United States in late August.

The “Select Team” is typically a group of younger players with aspirations of competing for the full national team down the road. If someone may get injured, a player on the select team may receive a call-up to the senior team.

Wojnarowski later reported that New Orleans guard Trey Murphy and Minnesota’s Naz Reid will join Pritchard on that Select team during training camp. Others among the squad include Detroit’s Cade Cunningham, the Kings’ Keegan Murray, and Chet Holmgren among others. The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Joe Vardon were among the people that reported the roster in addition to Wojnarowski. Training camp is slated to being on August 3 in Vegas with a preparation game against Puerto Rico set for August 7.

It seems like a perfect opportunity for a player wanting to improve his game with the goal of receiving more time on the floor in Boston. Rumors have been floated around for many months of destinations or trade scenarios for the former Oregon star, but as of right now, he will still be donning the green and white next season under Joe Mazzulla. Even with the departure of Marcus Smart, Pritchard’s minutes with the Celts still look to be few and far between.

Last season in Mazzulla’s first campaign as head coach, Pritchard saw the floor less than he has his entire career. He played in just 48 games, starting in three while contributing 13.4 minutes per outing. Boston’s No. 11 had 21 DNPs this past season. It is clear that he is an NBA player, no question about it.

The only problem has become the roster being constructed by Brad Stevens. He sat behind three quality point guards in Smart, Derrick White, and Malcolm Brogdon. Pritchard has made it clear he seeks to get traded this summer, but that deal has yet to be reported or confirmed by the franchise itself. His work ethic has been clear from day one, the only issue is if his size will be able to allow him to hold up defensively in a much more consistent role.

Payton Pritchard has been provided with a unique opportunity to improve his role with Boston Celtics

With the USA Select Team, the current Boston Celtics guard will be surrounded by All-Stars and some of the best basketball coaches in the world. Not only is he there to work on his game, if he plays well, that word will most likely get around some way or another. Steve Kerr, Erik Spoelstra, and Tyronn Lue are slated to be three of the coaches.

The players within the camp given some of their star statuses with their respective ball clubs could go back to their team and inform the front office of their desire to team with Pritchard. On paper, he is essentially playing for a practice team, but for No. 11, it is a chance to increase the likelihood of playing the role he aims to in the future.