The Boston Celtics had two players representing their franchise at the 2023 All-Star game, it what is a credit to the team’s player development over the past eight years.
However, the downside of having two elite stars on your team is that one of them will always need to take a slight step back in role, which is something Jaylen Brown addressed during his All-Star Media Day press conference.
“It takes sacrifice. You know, on my behalf, it’s definitely a lot of opportunities that you can be a guy, but the ultimate goal for me and Jayson has always been to win games. So, when you see team dynamics, there’s nothing wrong with doing your job on a team. Throughout my career, I’ve learned to be and play the role that’s been needed for me to play. And, I think that’s part of why the success has been able to happen. Being able to humble yourself…there’s no problem being a great team guy and winning here in Boston,” Brown said.
Brown has been solid for the Celtics this season, providing them with 26.5 points, 7 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game on 48.7% shooting from the field and 33.1 shooting from deep.
Payton Pritchard is Also Having to Play a Role
Another player on the Celtics roster who is learning about the necessity to play a specific role on a deep contending team is Payton Pritchard, who has seen his minutes drastically reduced since the arrival of Malcolm Brogdon last summer – leading to rumors the third-year guard could be traded at the February 9 deadline.
When speaking to the media following the Celtics’ victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on February 12, Pritchard noted how he is committed to helping Boston win a championship this season and is putting talks of a potential trade behind him.
“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 been getting some additional run of late due to Marcus Smart’s absence, and one would hope he can continue to make an impact when called upon, be it in the regular season or in the playoffs.
Celtics Are Struggling to Fill Their 15th Roster Spot
Following the Celtics’ February 9 trade for Mike Muscala, Boston entered the buyout period with an open roster spot but has struggled to entice players to fill that role, most likely due to the limited minutes on offer.
During a recent exclusive interview with WEEI on The Greg Hill Show, Wyc Grousbeck noted how most players are likely to be reluctant to sign up for such limited playing time.
“I’d be very surprised if we went into the playoffs with an open roster spot, don’t think that’s going to happen. There’s a question whether you sign people to 10-day contracts to check them out if they’re willing to accept a role where the team’s pretty deep, so there may not be a lot of minutes. People don’t necessarily want to sign for that. It might not be good for their career,” Grousbeck said.
The Celtics have already missed out on numerous buyout targets, including Terrence Ross and Danny Green, but the front office will likely be confident they can entice a veteran to join the roster and help the team continue challenging for a championship this season.