Payton Pritchard Labeled as Potential Celtics Trade Bait for 3&D Wing

Payton Pritchard, Boston Celtics

Getty Payton Pritchard, Boston Celtics

As the February 9 trade deadline draws closer, Boston Celtics fans will be wondering if their team is going to make any moves to improve their bench rotation.

According to Bobby Krivitsky of Sports Illustrated, one player that could make perfect sense for Boston is Jae Crowder if they would be willing to part with Payton Pritchard and potentially some future draft capital.

“Another intriguing potential reunion would be with Jae Crowder, who remains separated from a Suns team that could use him in their rotation. Barring an unlikely resolution that keeps Crowder in the desert, expect him to get dealt by the Feb. 9 trade deadline…However, along with Pritchard, Crowder figures to cost the Celtics a future first-round pick,” Krivitsky wrote on January 8.

Crowder, 32, has developed a reputation of being a reliable three-and-d wing on a contending team in recent years, following a successful spell with the Miami Heat followed by another successful spell with the Phoenix Suns. Furthermore, Crowder’s defensive upside and ability to space the floor would slot perfectly into the offensive system Joe Mazzulla has implemented since becoming the Celtics’ interim head coach.

Last season, Crowder averaged 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 50.3% from the field and 34.8% from the perimeter – numbers that could see him become an integral member of Boston’s bench rotation.

Payton Pritchard Is Attracting Trade Interest

According to someone who recently spoke with Heavy On Sports NBA Insider Steve Bulpett, Pritchard is starting to garner interest from teams around the league, as they begin to do their due diligence on the sharpshooting third-year guard.

“You’ve got to wonder about him defensively at that size (listed at 6-1), but he plays hard, he can really push the ball, and he’s got a nice stroke from 3,” said one personnel man. “I like what I see, but it’s hard to say for sure if he could do more with a better opportunity. And first, you have to ask if he’s better than what you have and if he’ll even get more of a look with your team. It’s hard to say, but I know I’m not the only team checking on him. It’s always natural in these situations,” Bulpett reported.

Pritchard, 24, has struggled to carve out a consistent role for himself this season but has still managed to see the floor in 25 of the Celtics’ games so far, averaging 4.5 points, 1.1 rebounds, and an assist per game while shooting 42% from the field and 36.4% from deep.

Danilo Gallinari Could Be Traded Before The Deadline

According to a January 6 article by NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg, the Celtics could be tempted to trade Danilo Gallinari as they look to acquire additional reinforcements for the second half of the season and into the playoffs.

“It might be somewhat cold to trade him as he rehabs without having never played a minute in a Celtics jersey. Alas, it goes back to the bottom line: The Celtics are on a quest for a title, and you have to use every asset available. Gallinari’s $6.5 million salary creates avenues for adding talent that might preserve a diminished draft stash and potentially keeps from adding to a stiff luxury tax bill,” Forsberg wrote.

Should the Celtics be willing to part with Gallinari and some future draft assets, they may be able to acquire Crowder without giving up Pritchard, thus giving them some elite backup at both the guard and wing spots. However, with just over a month until the trade deadline, there is plenty of time for things to unfold or stay exactly the same.

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