Celtics ‘Wish’ They Traded Payton Pritchard for 24-Year-Old Forward

Payton Pritchard of the Boston Celtics.

Getty Payton Pritchard of the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics have dealt with some struggles as of late. They picked up a win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, but prior to that, they suffered a three-game losing streak, and a lot of the issues that occurred were self-inflicted wounds.

And while the Celtics made a deal for Mike Muscala at this year’s trade deadline, they could have done more. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, Boston likely wishes that they traded Payton Pritchard to the Charlotte Hornets for PJ Washington.

Here’s a full outline of the trade Buckley proposed:

Celtics receive: Washington

Hornets receive: Pritchard, 2025 1st-Round Pick (Lottery-protected)

“With Robert Williams III back on the injury report (this time with a strained hamstring), Boston might be kicking itself for not doing more to fortify its frontcourt at the deadline. Mike Muscala’s combination of size and shooting is helpful, but his limitations have already shown.

“Paying up for Washington could be the ultimate mulligan. His two-way versatility would shine at both ends, and he’d offer an alternative to paying Grant Williams this summer since both are heading to restricted free agency.

“Washington might be the proverbial jack of all trades, master of none, but the Shamrocks could squeeze plenty out of his well-rounded skill set. He works as both a physical 4 or a small-ball 5, and depending on what the night calls for, he can contribute points, rebounds, assists and threes.

“If Charlotte doesn’t plan on paying Washington, this trade would net a first-round pick and allow it to see whether Pritchard could lead its second team for the next half-decade,” Buckley wrote.

Washington has appeared in 63 of the team’s 68 games this year and is playing 32.8 minutes per contest. He is averaging 15.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game on 44.1% shooting from the field and 34.8% shooting from behind the three-point line.

Celtics Could Trade Mike Muscala

As far as Muscala, while the Celtics just added him to the roster at this year’s deadline, he might not be in Boston for long. According to sources who spoke with Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports, if and when Danilo Gallinari returns to the court, trading Muscala could be a smart idea.

“It is hard to imagine they will keep both of those guys if Gallinari comes back healthy,” a GM told Deveney. “But at the same time, the option on Muscala is $3.5 million for next year. It might be worth it to just pick up the option and use him as a trade piece. If you package him with other guys like Pritchard and Kornet, you get yourself into the $12 million range on what you can bring back. So, if they do not have another option they like a lot, they could bring him back as a guy they potentially move during the season or in the summer.”

Marcus Smart Puts Celtics on Notice

Before they snapped their losing streak against the Trail Blazers, Marcus Smart put the Celtics on notice, urging them to play with more intensity.

“Just play harder. You know, we got to play harder,” Smart said via Abby Chin of NBC Sports Boston. “Teams are coming in here and out toughing us, you know, and that’s one thing we try to pride ourselves on. Especially early on in the season was, you know, being the tougher team, and right now we’re not and teams are coming in and out-toughing us. So, I feel fixing that will fix a lot of things. Having that tough mentality coming back in and, you know, throwing the first punch, and if you do get hit, hit back and get up and everything else will start kind of slowly coming back together.”

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