As the Boston Celtics navigated the February 9 trade deadline, rumors regarding Payton Pritchard’s future with the franchise swirled throughout the media.
Yet, as the deadline passed, Pritchard remained on the Celtics and will now continue to provide insurance to Boston’s guard rotation, although it’s unlikely that his role will change.
According to Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, the Celtics could come to regret their decision not to move on from Pritchard, as the sharpshooting guard is clearly frustrated at how his role within the rotation has diminished following the arrival of Malcolm Brogdon.
“Payton Pritchard wants to play. He doesn’t always get that chance in Boston, where he’s buried behind a slew of established pros…If the Celtics don’t see Pritchard in their long-term plans, they should have cut him loose and sent him to some team with that kind of vision for him,” Buckley wrote.
Pritchard is currently navigating a season where he is averaging his lowest minutes per game totals since entering the league and is being asked to operate as a supporting rotation member, often going multiple games without seeing the floor before being thrust into the rotation to cover when another guard is missing time.
Pritchard is Focused on Winning a Championship
While Pritchard has been clear about his frustrations with the limited playing time being afforded to him, it didn’t stop the third-year guard from reaffirming his desire to help the Celtics lift a championship banner this season.
“My minds already reset, and I’ve already been open about where I was at. And I’m here now. I’m a professional at the end of the day, I’m gonna work, and any minute I’m gonna play because I love to play basketball. This whole thing about what everybody’s been saying, you know, I love this city, I love this organization, I love my teammates, this is like one of the best…I’m here, and I do love it here, and I’m committed. I wanna help this team any way I can to win a championship,” Pritchard said.
Pritchard has seen the floor in 41 games for the Celtics this season, averaging 4.9 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.1 assists while shooting 40.6% from the field and 34.5% from deep.
Payton Pritchard Wants a Bigger Role
When speaking to Evan Turner and Andre Iguodala during a recent appearance on their Point Forward Podcast, Pritchard discussed his desire to play a bigger role on a team next season, regardless of whether that’s in Boston or elsewhere.
“I definitely do. It’s obviously what I work for. I think that’s what Brad and them know, too. We’ve had that discussion but — a bigger role. I want to be part of a winning culture but I want to also help that, be a really big piece of that. I’m not saying it’s the best player on the team but I don’t know what my future holds unless I can take that next step. I don’t know what it is in five or 10 years but I just want to look back and know that I put my best foot forward. I put all the work in so whatever happens I can live with as long as I did it my way. That’s the most important thing for me,” Pritchard said.