Proposed Trade Sees Celtics Move Flip Payton Pritchard For Powerful Big Man

Payton Pritchard, Boston Celtics

Getty Payton Pritchard, Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics boast considerable depth at the guard position, with three players capable of being starters on almost any team in the NBA.

With Malcolm Brogdon, Derrick White, and Marcus Smart, the Celtics have an elite unit of floor generals; however, that has led to a frustrating season for third-year guard Payton Pritchard.

According to Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, the Celtics could potentially move on from Pritchard this summer, with Udoka Azubuike of the Utah Jazz being floated as an ideal trade candidate.

The full trade looks like this:

Boston Gets: Udoka Azubuike, two second-round draft picks

Utah Gets: Payton Prtichard

“Payton Pritchard is a good player,” Buckley wrote. “The Celtics have seen him be a good player. They expect him to be a good player when they need him. They just don’t see this as reason enough to get him in the regular rotation. And, honestly, they shouldn’t. They have one of the best backcourts around, which makes Pritchard something between an insurance policy and a luxury.”

Pritchard has struggled for rhythm this season, as he is posting career lows with 4.7 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 1 assist per game on 39% shooting from the field and 33.1% from the perimeter.

Celtics Could Regret Not Trading Pritchard

According to an article Buckley wrote in February, the Celtics could potentially regret not trading Pritchard at the trade deadline, especially as the guard clearly wants to play rather than warm the bench.

“Payton Pritchard wants to play. He doesn’t always get that chance in Boston, where he’s buried behind a slew of established pros…If the Celtics don’t see Pritchard in their long-term plans, they should have cut him loose and sent him to some team with that kind of vision for him,” Buckley wrote.

Unfortunately for Pritchard, the Celtics opted to keep him on the roster for the remainder of the current season, as his talent and scoring ability make him an important backup should one of the primary guard rotation be forced to miss games.

Celtics Almost Traded Payton Pritchard in February

According to a February 9 report by MassLive’s Brian Robb, the Celtics did come close to trading Pritchard as they attempted to acquire Jakob Poeltl from the San Antonio Spurs.

The rumored package on offer from Boston was Payton Pritchard, Danilo Gallinari, and draft compensation; however, the Spurs ended up sending Poeltl to Toronto, as they preferred their trade package.

“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.

Now, Pritchard will need to bide his time before finding himself a new home, yet, a move to Utah, as proposed by Buckley, could be exactly what Pritchard needs – as he would have a significant role off the bench and would be given the chance to continue his development at the NBA level.