Analyst Vents Frustration With Celtics’ Payton Pritchard’s Playing Time

Joe Mazzulla, Payton Pritchard, Boston Celtics

Getty Joe Mazzulla, Payton Pritchard, Boston Celtics

Throughout this past season, the Boston Celtics had an embarrassment of riches at the guard position.

As such, Payton Pritchard found consistent playing time difficult to come by, despite being an important role player in the Celtics’ trip to the 2022 NBA Finals. According to Brendan Jackson of the Winning Plays podcast, Pritchard’s inconsistent role was one of the more frustrating aspects of the entire Celtics season.

“I think his shot got better, and he’s just a competitor,” Jackson said. “He fights for rebounds. He’s competitive on the defensive end. It’s, like, really frustrating to see a guy like that sit on the bench when you got guys that don’t look like they’re competing hard.”

Pritchard played in 48 games for the Celtics this season, averaging 5.6 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists while shooting 41.2% from the field and 36.4% from deep. All of those numbers were career lows for the third-year guard, which is likely why many expect him to be traded during the summer.

Payton Pritchard Wants to Be Traded

In a June 1 article by The Athletic’s Jay King and Jared Weiss, it was reported that Pritchard has made his desire to be traded this summer very clear to the front office.

“With the new onerous CBA rules looming after next season, the front office will likely have to decide in the next 12 months whether it can afford its expensive veteran depth,” King wrote. “Payton Pritchard has made it clear he hopes to be traded this summer, according to multiple team sources, so will the Celtics move him if they trade one of their core guards?”

Pritchard was also vocal about his desire to be traded around the February 9 trade deadline, however, the Celtics were unable to find a deal that made sense, and as such, Pritchard remained in Boston.

Celtics Unlikely to Trade Pritchard

According to an Eastern Conference General Manager who spoke with Heavy on Sports’ Sean Deveney under the condition of anonymity, Pritchard may have to spend another year on the team’s bench.

“The way things have worked recently is you find that teams do not want to trade guys on their rookie contracts because you’re going to get more value by trading him after he gets that big contract bump,” The GM said. “So they’re not going to be in a hurry to move him just to move him because they can do better by waiting.”

Unless the Celtics decide to move on from either Malcolm Brogdon or Marcus Smart, Pritchard would once again find himself operating as a backup point guard for Joe Mazzulla‘s team.

Considering Pritchard’s age and the fact he would be entering a contract year, remaining with the Celtics could be deemed a disaster. After all, if Pritchard is unable to perform regularly, he won’t continue to develop, which in turn will hurt his ability to secure a contract elsewhere next summer.

As such, it would make sense if the Celtics began taking calls regarding Pritchard’s availability as they look to balance out their roster and fill positions of need elsewhere on the court.

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