Eastern GM Reveals 3 Potential Landing Spots For Celtics Disgruntled Guard

Payton Pritchard’s tenure with the Boston Celtics seems to be nearing an end, as the sharpshooting guard continues to find regular playing time hard to come by.

According to an Eastern Conference GM, who spoke with Heavy on Sports’ Sean Deveney under the condition of anonymity, there are multiple teams who would be interested in acquiring Pritchard this summer, with three specific franchises that would make sense for the third-year guard in terms of role and available playing time.

“There are definitely some teams to watch there. Orlando had an interest, they are not that sold on their options at point guard—(Markelle) Fultz has had so many injury troubles, Cole Anthony needs the ball so much, (Jalen) Suggs is more of a two-guard. If they are going to run things through Paolo (Banchero) then a guy like Pritchard, who can manage the game, take good care of the ball, and make his shots when needed, is a good fit.It is just a matter of, can he defend?

Pritchard is Danny’s guy, too, don’t forget. Ainge would love to get him back, and have him in Utah. The Jazz have the Sixers’ pick in this draft; something could get done there. Cleveland asked about Pritchard, too, from what I understand. They have some concerns, long-term, about depth at point guard, and about Ricky Rubio’s health,” The GM told Deveney. 

Pritchard’s role with the Celtics has seriously diminished this season due to the arrival of Malcolm Brogdon, leading the sharpshooting guard to play limited minutes for a team that he helped reach the NBA Finals last season.

Celtics Tried to Trade Payton Pritchard in February

According to a February 9 report by Masslive’s Brian Robb, the Celtics attempted to trade Pritchard at the trade deadline, as they sought to use him in a package with Danilo Gallinari and draft assets to acquire Jakob Poeltl from the San Antonio Spurs.

“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.

Unfortunately for Boston, San Antonio preferred the Toronto Raptors’ offer, and Poeltl was sent back to the team that originally drafted him, causing Pritchard to remain in Boston and Brad Stevens to pivot and acquire Mike Muscala in a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Payton Pritchard is Committed to Boston

When speaking to the media following the Celtics’ February 12 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, Pritchard addressed his immediate future with the franchise, noting how he’s committed to helping the team challenge for a championship this season.

“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 participated in 45 games for the Celtics this season, averaging 4.7 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 1 assist per game while shooting 39% from the field and 33.1% from deep giving him career-low averages across the board. Now, Pritchard will need to wait until the off-season before trying to find himself a new team that can offer him a more consistent role within the rotation.

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