Celtics Sharpshooter Could Be Traded Midseason

Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

Getty Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

Looking at the Boston Celtics‘ current roster it’s clear they’re incredibly deep at the guard position following the off-season addition of Malcolm Brogdon.

Unfortunately, that means Payton Pritchard will likely be left clawing for spot minutes throughout the 2022-23 season, and they may not sit well with the third-year guard. According to Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, Boston’s depth at both guard positions means that Pritchard may be used as a trade chip before the February trade deadline.

“Pritchard has struggled to find consistent floor time through two NBA seasons, and that could continue to be a challenge given his lack of size (6’1″, 195 lbs) and athletic limitations. However, teams could still see significant spark-plug potential in him,” Buckley wrote.

Last season, Pritchard continued to prove he can shoot the ball at an exemplary clip, converting 41.2% of his three-point attempts while also averaging 6.2 points, two assists, and 1.9 rebounds per regular-season game. However, over his 24 post-season appearances in 2022, the sharpshooting guard struggled to maintain his conversion rate from deep, watching his accuracy dip to just 33.3% on three attempts per game.


Buckley Believes Grant Williams Could Also be Traded

Another member of Boston’s roster who Buckley believes is a potential trade candidate is Grant Williams. The Tennessee native was unable to agree terms on a contract extension with the Celtics this summer and will now become a restricted free agent as a result – something which could tempt Boston to sit at the negotiating table.

“The Celtics opted against extending Williams, which could be a signal that he’s not a part of the franchise’s future plans. Should they not want to cover the cost of his upcoming free agency, they should find a healthy market of interested suitors,” Buckey wrote.

Throughout pre-season Williams flashed an improved off-the-dribble game and looked capable of attacking close-outs on the perimeter – if those improvements turn out to be genuine, then his offensive upside will quickly increase, and thus, he will become even more integral to Boston’s bench rotation. As such, it is highly unlikely Boston would consider trading away such a talented member of the second unit unless it was part of a package to bring another superstar to the TD Garden.


Detroit Could Emerge as Suitors For Williams

Next summer, Williams will be a restricted free agent – meaning he’s free to discuss contractual terms with any team in the NBA, but Boston still has the right to match any offer sheet.

According to an Eastern Conference Executive, who spoke with Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney under the condition of anonymity, the Detroit Pistons could emerge as genuine candidates to prise Williams away from Boston, if they’re willing to pay slightly over the odds.

“There are a few young teams with cap space and some really good players on rookie deals who will have money to spend next summer. Detroit is the one that sticks out. They need a guy who is experienced and young, who can give them an identity on defense.
Orlando is another team, you can imagine him in a Draymond Green role with a team like that. Even Oklahoma City, they are going to have to start winning eventually. He’d be a good fit there. They can all pay him,” The executive said.
Of course, Boston will likely match whatever offer Williams signs, but there is always the chance they are priced out of a deal and the versatile forward heads toward a new chapter in his career. The 2022-23 season will be a significant factor in how much Williams gets paid next summer, and more importantly, where he plays his basketball for the next three or four years.
Until then, Williams is a Celtics player and will be doing everything he can to help the team raise banner number 18.
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