The Boston Celtics could look into trading guard Payton Pritchard this summer, though that would depend on who they would want and who they are trading with. According to Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer, among the teams who are interested in Pritchard are the Phoenix Suns.
“Payton Pritchard, the former first-round pick who fell out of Boston’s rotation, has several supporters in Phoenix’s front office,” Fischer wrote on June 9. “(He) is expected to feature prominently in the NBA’s general trade landscape this summer when Pritchard becomes extension eligible.”
The Suns are basically out of assets after they traded their treasure chest of first-round picks for Kevin Durant. However, Pritchard could potentially be used as salary filler in a possible deal for Chris Paul, as The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Paul and the Suns are exploring their options.
Obviously, it would take more than Pritchard to potentially acquire Paul, but throwing him in a trade could sway the Suns to make a deal.
Celtics Named Among Top Destinations for Chris Paul
“CP3 would be the perfect addition for an offense that, despite ranking third in half-court efficiency, too often descended into turbulence,” Favale wrote. “There is inherent variability when teams depend on the three-ball as much as the Celtics do, but they are too easily nudged away from their best practices and into turnover tumults when shots aren’t falling, or the rate of play slows.”
Favale added that there could be concerns regarding the Celtics’ pecking order offensively with Paul but explained why it may not be an issue.
“Boston would have to navigate some hierarchal concerns if CP3 joins the fold. His penchant for ball dominance can be a disruptor. But he’s spent more time away from the action over the past two seasons, and all of the Celtics’ core players have ample experience working off-ball.”
However, Favale concluded by saying that paying Paul could be the real issue for the Celtics.
“Paying CP3 may be the bigger challenge. Boston will have second-apron concerns depending on how much Grant Williams costs in restricted free agency. That shouldn’t rule the Celtics out, but they become a much more enticing landing spot if they can access all or part of the mini-mid-level exception.”
Proposed Trade Swaps Chris Paul for Marcus Smart
Following the report about Chris Paul, Colin Cowherd proposed the following trade between the Celtics and the Suns.
Celtics receive: Chris Paul
Suns receive: Marcus Smart
After floating the trade, Cowherd explained why Paul fits on the Celtics.
“Who are the Celtics’ two stars? Young in their prime. Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown. They play 70 games. They play a lot of minutes. It’s okay if Chris Paul plays 55 games. It’s okay if he plays 30 minutes, not 40, because they’ve got that covered,” Cowherd said.
Cowherd added that Paul fits a big need for the Celtics despite some of his red flags.
“They don’t have a facilitator. They don’t, and Chris Paul is. He’s offensive-minded. ‘Well, he’s not much for offense!’ Well, Tatum and Brown are. Robert Williams near the basket is. They got enough defense. They don’t need to double down on defense. They need to double down and find a quarterback and facilitator and somebody to get them into their offense.”