Celtics Could Utilize Guard as Trade Piece: Sources

Payton Pritchard and Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics.

Getty Payton Pritchard and Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics made it all the way to the NBA Finals this past season but ended up falling just short, losing to the Golden State Warriors in six games. In the Finals, it was made clear that depth was an issue for Boston, and Brad Stevens worked to fix that this offseason.

He began the offseason by signing Danilo Gallinari to a two-year contract and followed up that move by trading five players to the Indiana Pacers for Malcolm Brogdon. Unfortunately, Gallinari tore his ACL while playing for the Italian national team at EuroBasket, but Brogdon should still make a major impact.

That being said, the addition of Brogdon has created a crowded guard room in Boston. Brogdon, Marcus Smart, and Derrick White will headline the rotation, but Payton Pritchard will be competing for minutes, too. 

According to sources who spoke with Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, the team has no plans to trade the young guard right now, but if they needed to, he could be thrown in a deal.

“He’s someone, again, they’re not shopping,” an Eastern Conference executive told Deveney. “But if they decided they had to make a move, if they had to bring in someone to help the frontcourt, then Pritchard could be part of a good package. A lot of teams see him as a fringe starter, and a really solid backup who can shoot. He has value in that role.”

All that being said, Boston refused to include him in the Brogdon deal.

Pritchard Was Left Out of Brogdon Trade

Boston shipped out Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith, Malik Fitts, Nik Stauskas, Juwan Morgan, and a first-round pick for Brogdon. However, according to the executive who spoke with Deveney, Indiana wanted Pritchard in trade. The Celtics said no.

“He might not play much in Boston. But they’re not going to give him away. They did not include him in the Brogdon deal even though Indiana asked for him,” the executive revealed. “So, they’re not looking to get rid of him. They like him. But if it gets to February and you have an injury to Williams or Horford or someone, you might have to make a hard decision on him.”

Last year, Pritchard appeared in 71 games for the Celtics, playing 14.1 minutes per game. He averaged 6.2 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game on 42.9% shooting from the field and 41.2% shooting from behind the three-point line.

In addition, an executive spoke to Deveney about the idea of trading White.

Would Celtics Consider Trading White?

Boston has no plans to make any more trades right now, but they could potentially include White in a deal if they want to match salaries.

“If something came their way where they needed a salary to match, that would be a case where you can imagine them looking to maybe move White but they’re not out there shopping him for sure,” the executive said. “He does not have a ton of value — he is a good, solid defensive player and you just hope he can get turned around offensively, but he is 28 now. So it’s sort of a case where what you see is what you are going to get. With the way they play, he is more valuable to the Celtics than he is to other teams and guys like that are not easy to trade. I don’t see Derrick going anywhere.”

Right now, the guard room isn’t going to change much, but who knows what could happen in the future

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