Boston Celtics point guard and Oregon native Payton Pritchard is “definitely” on the radar of the Portland Trail Blazers following their acquisition of Jrue Holiday in the three-team Damian Lillard trade and given the guard’s preferred teams list inclusion of the Cs according to Yahoo Sports’s Jake Fischer — who said as much on the “Ball Don’t Lie” podcast (h/t NESN).
“With (Malcolm) Brogdon to match Holiday’s salary, yeah, Payton Pritchard is going out the door in that scenario,” Fischer prefaced before saying, “Payton Pritchard is definitely someone on Portland’s radar. He played college basketball at Oregon. Clearly, that would be a match made in heaven.
“But there’s no way to really get the salaries to match if you’re not including Robert Williams or Al Horford. It just kind of gets thorny.”
Boston Celtics playing a dangerous game with Jrue Holiday pursuit
A pursuit of Holiday is a concession that the roster still isn’t good enough to win a championship by the front office, though the possibility that Malcolm Brogdon wants out after the team nearly traded him to the Los Angeles Clippers is certainly a built-in excuse for it.
Boston acquired Kristaps Porzingis with the idea that he was the third (fourth if you count Derrick White) and final star needed to get the team over the top. Depth wasn’t really swapped out with that deal, though.
Where depth was lost was the departure of Grant Williams. Maybe Oshae Brissett is all that’s needed, perhaps mixed with a step forward from Sam Hauser and/or a Miami Heat-like uncovering of a gem like Svi Mykhailiuk or Dalano Banton.
But if it wasn’t packaging multiple players to land Holiday is putting all of the team’s eggs in the starting lineup’s basket. And that’s a dangerous game to play considering the litany of injuries the 82-game schedule could cause with adjusted rest rules.