Payton Pritchard is coming off an electric run through the Pac-12 tournament that saw him take home the tournament’s most outstanding player award alongside a Pac-12 title and March Madness bid for Oregon. In the Pac-12 Tournament, he had 22 assists to go along with only four turnovers, showcasing that despite his increased scoring and assist numbers, he is doing a fantastic job of taking care of the basketball and quarterbacking the Ducks offense.
Payton Pritchard Latest NBA Mock Draft Projections
Stuck behind Bol Bol (although he’s hurt), Louis King, and Kenny Wooten on every NBA Draft metric, Pritchard will need to continue his strong play into the NCAA tournament to really spark his name in draft conversations. Heading into March Madness, Pritchard does not appear on any NBA Mock Draft and grades out to be a prime candidate to prove himself at the NBA’s summer league when he decides to leave (or graduates from) Oregon.
A floor general in every sense of the word, Pritchard doesn’t necessarily need the ball in his hands to be effective and is more than content to play his role and simply help facilitate the offense. That sort of basketball IQ doesn’t go unnoticed and is definitely something about his game that NBA front offices will covet. Already a junior though, time is not on Pritchard’s side and unless he posts a huge tournament and parlays that into a monster senior year, he will almost certainly find himself having to scratch and claw his way onto an NBA roster.
Payton Pritchard NBA Draft Profile & Player Comparison
Given his size, motor, and playmaking skills, Payton Pritchard’s game is fairly similar to that of T.J. McConnell. Both lack ideal true size for the point guard position but are adept at hanging onto the basketball and make extremely smart reads as far as when to shoot and when to get rid of the ball. Neither possesses elite physical tools but both are “athletic enough” and crafty with the ball to the point where they can cheat their lack of raw athleticism.
Furthermore, they both play with an intense motor on both sides of the ball and pride themselves on production at both ends of the floor. To his credit, Pritchard is actually a better shooter from deep compared to Arizona. Similar to Pritchard’s trajectory, McConnell went undrafted in 2015 before playing his way into a regular rotational role on the Philadelphia 76ers.
Expect Pritchard to follow a fairly similar career trajectory coming out of Oregon and look for him to essentially become McConnell, but with a better shot from deep, at the next level.