GM Warns ‘Psychopath’ Celtics Guard Over Pitfall of Potential Trade

Payton Pritchard, Malcolm Brogdon, Boston Celtics

Getty Payton Pritchard, Malcolm Brogdon, Boston Celtics

Rumors surrounding the Boston Celtics potentially trading Payton Pritchard continue to persist after the third-year guard struggled for playing time under Joe Mazzulla.

According to a league source that spoke with Heavy on Sports Steve Bulpett under the condition of anonymity, it’s unusual for such a young player to be vocal about wanting a trade. Yet, the source believes that Pritchard’s honesty regarding his current situation goes to show the intensity that he approaches the game with.

“A lot of guys think that, but hardly anyone ever comes out and says it,” the source told Bulpett. “He’s a little bit of a psychopath, that kid. He’s got great intensity, but he’s different.”

Unfortunately, the source went on to explain why Pritchard could face some obstacles en route to getting a trade over the line.

“He plays hard, but there are going to be questions about his size and his defense, with everyone playing pick-and-roll and forcing switches. It’s harder to target him so much with Boston because they’ve got such a good defense … at least they did until what we saw in some of those playoff losses — whoa.”

Despite Pritchard’s reputation for being a legitimate threat from deep, he was unable to earn consistent playing time after the Celtics acquired Malcolm Brogdon via trade last summer.

Analyst Frustrated by Pritchard’s Lack of Court Time

In a recent episode of the Winning Plays podcast, NBA analyst Brendan Jackson shared his frustrations at Pritchard’s lack of game time this season, especially after he played a role in helping Boston make it to the 2022 NBA Finals under Ime Udoka.

“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.”

Under Ime Udoka, Pritchard played in 71 regular-season games, averaging 6.2 points, 2 assists, and 1.9 rebounds per game, shooting 41.2% from three-point range and 46.1% from deep. However, this season, the Oregon native played in 48 games registering career lows across the board.

Pritchard Could Make Sense for the Lakers

In a recent article for NESN, Keagan Stiefel shared his thoughts on why Pritchard could find himself being pursued by the Los Angeles Lakers this summer.

“The Lakers haven’t been able to shoot the ball for the majority of LeBron James’ tenure, which is something Pritchard could help with,” Stiefel wrote. “DeAngelo Russell and Austin Reaves are question marks, so a big-time backup plan could be bringing in a man who shot 46/40/100 in his second season.”

Pritchard will be entering the final year of his current contract next season and will become a restricted free agent in the 2024 off-season. As such, any team that moves to acquire Pritchard via trade will need to feel confident that they will be comfortable in retaining him on his next deal.

Still, it’s worth remembering that Boston could choose to keep Pritchard around, especially if they decide to move on from either Malcolm Brogdon or Marcus Smart during the summer.

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