Heat, Rockets Could Beat Out Celtics for Wing: ‘Would Not Be Surprising’

Lamar Stevens

Getty Lamar Stevens

The Boston Celtics were one of the teams reportedly interested in free agent wing Lamar Stevens, as reported by HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto on September 13. The Miami Heat and Houston Rockets were also named by Scotto among the teams who had drawn interest in Stevens.

With the Heat and Rockets also among Stevens’ suitors, MassLive’s Brian Robb explained in a September 14 mailbag why he believes they are more likely to add Stevens than the Celtics, though he didn’t rule out Stevens not taking the Celtics’ last roster spot.

“The Heat are an interesting spot for him as they need more depth on the wing and remain in a holding pattern on Damian Lillard trade talks. The Rockets could also use some more help on the wing in the wake of Kevin Porter Jr.’s arrest, which will likely lead to him being dealt/waived before the start of the season. Ultimately, it would not be surprising to see either of those teams give Stevens a better offer than Boston in the coming weeks but this will be a situation worth watching as the start of training camp approaches on October 2nd,” Robb wrote.

The Celtics have added plenty of wings already, including Jordan Walsh, Oshae Brissett, Dalano Banton, and Svi Mikhailiuk, so it wouldn’t be surprising if a pursuit of Stevens falls short. However, if the Celtics think adding a perimeter wing defender is the best use of their last spot, Stevens is their best option.

Payton Pritchard Ready for Bigger Role

Payton Pritchard is expected to have a more consistent role with the Celtics this season with Marcus Smart gone. Pritchard got honest about what he’ll have to do to earn his spot while talking with The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach.

“If I get the opportunity to play, I’ve got to show what I’m capable of and that I can help win at a high level,” Pritchard told Himmelsbach in a September 16 story. “So I’m just looking forward to the opportunity of showcasing that. At the end of the day, I’m a winner and am obviously going to help Jaylen (Brown) and Jayson (Tatum) because those are the two that are pushing us, but we’ve all got to help them get over the hump, and ultimately win a championship.”

Pritchard also made it clear that he’s aware that his role is likely to change every game this season.

“I think it looks different every night,” Pritchard said. “Obviously, I have the ability to shoot and space the floor, but also this year, being able to take pressure off, and if I have to handle and bring it up and showcase more of the passing side of things, I can do that. But I’ve talked to Joe, and it’s going to be a lot of different things.”

Celtics Not Likely to Add Cam Payne: Insider

While Robb does not see the Celtics adding Stevens, he also doesn’t see them using their last spot on free agent point guard Cam Payne because of what the Celtics need and who they already have.

“Seeing that Boston’s biggest depth weak spot is in the frontcourt right now, it’s hard to envision a Payne pursuit for a couple of reasons,” Robb wrote in a September 12 story. “First, the opportunity for him as a minimum free agent would not be there in Boston’s backcourt as currently composed. White, Brown, Brogdon, and Pritchard (who the team is very high on during camp) will eat up the lion’s share of minutes in the backcourt. That makes a path for regular playing time for Payne a tough sell.”

Knowing how injury-prone Malcolm Brogdon is, Payne could be a solid emergency guard, but odds are, he wants a bigger role than that.

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