A formerly disgruntled guard who requested a trade from the Boston Celtics organization, Payton Pritchard, is now excited to team up with the front office’s marquee offseason trade addition from the summer of 2023, Kristaps Porzingis; with Pritchard sharing as much to The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach.
“I think he’s an unbelievable player who is obviously really tall and can affect the game in a whole different way that we haven’t had, with his ability to shoot and put it on the floor and attack those mismatches,” Pritchard prefaced before saying, “So I’m looking forward to playing with him, and it’s going to be good.” As Himmelsbach shares, it appears as though Pritchard will get reps with Porzingis right when training camp starts even if the Cs plan on bringing the Latvian center along slowly in his recovery from plantar fasciitis.
“He has been doing some light on-court work as he ramps up for training camp,” Himmelsbach wrote.
Payton Pritchard could have minutes stolen from unlikely Boston Celtics superstar
Pritchard has waited things out past an unhonored trade request at this point — the Boston Celtics front office even traded away Marcus Smart instead and was looking to deal away Malcolm Brogdon — but he still may not get the exact role he wants during the 2023-24 season.
And the source likely to steal his minutes is one he likely never imagined: combo forward Jayson Tatum. Joe Mazzulla plans on deploying Tatum at point guard as he deals with a potentially volatile Brogdon situation and looks to replace Marcus Smart’s facilitation from the position.
Tatum working at the 1 isn’t hard to imagine either. The forward has raised his assist total from under two per game during his rookie season to nearly five during the 2022-23 campaign.
Pritchard has not had good rotation luck since Mazzulla has taken over, and that could continue during the 2023-24 season. Don’t be surprised if Pritchard is once again asking out by the trade deadline if “Point Tatum” is a hit.