Danny Ainge Plunders Celtics Prospect From G-League

Former Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations, Danny Ainge

Getty Former Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations, Danny Ainge

Danny Ainge has come out of the woodwork to pillage one of the Boston Celtics’ more impressive young development options, as the Utah Jazz have reportedly signed Luka Samanic to a 10-day contract.

On March 28, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported the deal on Twitter.

“The Utah Jazz are signing center Luka Samanic to a 10-day contract out of the NBA G League’s Maine Celtics, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Samanic is averaging 20.6 points and 10.8 rebounds in G League,” Charania wrote.

Samanic, 23, was originally drafted with the 19th overall pick by the San Antonio Spurs, playing a total of 36 games for them over a two-season span, averaging 3.8 points and 2.1 rebounds per game while shooting 43% from the field but just 29.4% from three-point range.

Since leaving the Spurs, Samanic has floated around the G-League, although it looks like his performances for the Maine Celtics have begun to pay off, with him now receiving an opportunity in Utah.

Payton Pritchard Provides Update on Injury

When speaking to the media as a part of a post-practice press conference, Payton Pritchard revealed that he will suit up for the Celtics in their March 28 contest against the Washington Wizards.

Payton Pritchard Foot INJURY UPDATEPayton Pritchard is probable to return from his foot injury after missing most of March. Pritchard talked about the collision with Evan Mobley in Cleveland that led to him missing time with multiple injuries, including plantar fasciitis.2023-03-28T17:34:17Z

“I wouldn’t go out there and I knew I couldn’t compete,” Pritchard said, “I felt ready to compete and go out there and help the team win.”

Prtichard has struggled for playing time this season and has seen his production drop as a result. In 45 games, Pritchard is averaging 4.7 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 1 assist per contest while hitting his shots at a 39% clip from the field and 33.1% clip from the perimeter – career lows in every category.

It’s that limited playing time that saw Pritchard discuss his long-term future with the Celtics around the trade deadline, with rumors swirling that he was looking for a way onto a new team who could provide him with more opportunities.

Celtics Almost Traded Payton Pritchard

The Celtics missed out on acquiring Jakob Poeltl from the San Antonio Spurs on the February 9 trade deadline, with the Western Conference team preferring an offer from the Toronto Raptors and ultimately accepting their trade offer.

Shortly after the deadline passed, MassLive’s Brian Robb reported that Boston’s failed trade package revolved around Pritchard, Danilo Gallinari, and numerous future second-round draft picks.

“League sources tell MassLive that Boston offered Payton Pritchard, Danilo Gallinari, and multiple future second-round picks for the big man ahead of Thursday’s deal. Ultimately, the Spurs elected to go with the Raptors’ offer, which included a top-6 protected first-round pick for 2024, two future second-round picks, and center Khem Birch,” Robb reported.

Boston ended up pivoting to acquire Mike Muscala from the Oklahoma City Thunder, but given the Celtics’ incredible depth at the guard position, there’s still a chance that Pritchard will find himself on a new team before the 2023-24 season gets underway.
For now, though, Pritchard will likely be hoping to earn some playing time between now and the end of the season, in a bid to prove that he can provide a scoring punch off the bench during the playoffs.
Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x