It sure seems like Payton Pritchard’s days with the Boston Celtics are numbered.
The diminutive guard reportedly made it clear he’d like to be traded this offseason, with hopes of securing a bigger role elsewhere, and the Celtics have the backcourt depth to swing a deal as Pritchard enters the final year of his rookie contract.
Plus, as Heavy.com’s Steve Bulpett reported Tuesday, scouts and other front office executives view Pritchard’s energy and shooting prowess — even when thrust into late-game situations — in a positive light.
“He works hard and he knows how to play the game,” an NBA general manager told Bulpett. “There’s definitely interest in him around the league, for sure.”
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Pritchard, the 26th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, showed promise in his first two seasons, carving out a meaningful bench role under Brad Stevens and then Ime Udoka. But his minutes (and production) diminished during the 2022-23 campaign under head coach Joe Mazzulla, to the point where Pritchard basically was relegated to garbage time during Boston’s playoff run.
As such, Pritchard is a logical trade candidate this summer as the Celtics look to retool with their sights still fixated on Banner 18. It’ll be fascinating to see whether a team other than Boston would be willing to give the 25-year-old ample playing time, thus opening the door for a deal.
“I like him. I definitely think he can help a team,” a source told Bulpett. “But he needs to be in a perfect situation to get a 25-minute-a-game role. I’m not sure where that is.”
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