2. Payton Pritchard
Pritchard wanted out of Boston before the 2023 trade deadline. He was barely playing and his role diminished as the season progressed.
The Celtics revamp left Pritchard on the roster as their backup point guard. There were minutes to seize and a key role on a championship contender being offered. The trade demands went away, but the 6’1 guard is struggling.
Pritchard is averaging a career-high 20.6 minutes per game, but leaving plenty to be desired. His 6.3 points, 2.8 assists, and 3.2 rebounds are fine, but the 25-year-old is shooting 38.9 percent from the field and 33.3 percent on his 3-point tries. Pritchard will never be a standout defender, so he must make shots and provide an offensive spark. He looked fantastic in the preseason, but his regular season production has been disappointing.
The two sides agreed to a four-year extension worth $30 million during training camp, which subjects him to the poison pill provision in a trade. Making the math work is not easy, but the Celtics will likely look to move if Pritchard’s play does not improve before the deadline.
There are significant questions about how much impact an undersized point guard can have in the playoffs already. Add in his shooting struggles, and it becomes time for Boston to move on.