3. Trade Payton Pritchard
The Celtics inked Pritchard to a four-year extension worth $30 million during training camp. His new contract does not kick in until next season, which leaves the 26-year-old with a Poison Pill provision if he is traded. Those contracts are difficult to deal because the salary counts differently for each side.
Pritchard requested a trade last season as his playing time shrunk, but the 6’1 guard is the team’s backup point guard this season. He is playing a career-high 21.0 minutes per game and averaging 7.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists each night. Pritchard is holding down the role, but can he be trusted in the playoffs?
The 6’1 guard was part of the Celtics postseason rotation in their 2022 run to the NBA Finals. His minutes dipped as he struggled to make shots, but he appeared in every game. Last season, Pritchard was not part of the nightly rotation, and the undersized guard struggles on the defensive end of the floor. If he cannot be trusted to play 15 minutes each night in the playoffs, Boston needs to move on before the deadline.
Teams will hunt Payton Pritchard in the postseason. The Boston Celtics would be better off trading him for a 3-and-D wing or a bigger ball-handler with a higher defensive floor.