The Boston Celtics signed Payton Pritchard to a surprising contract extension on Oct. 8, and the response from folks in the organization has been overwhelmingly positive.

Pritchard has been around Boston for a while, and the way the offseason unfolded almost necessitated the Celtics’ decision to keep him on board. He’s expected to be the third guard in Joe Mazzulla’s rotation, earning minutes behind Derrick White and incoming star Jrue Holiday. The C’s seem comfortable with Pritchard’s expanded role, with long-time teammates talking him up plenty as they approach the Oct. 25 opener against the New York Knicks.

The new guy seems especially impressed, though.

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“He’s fun,” Holiday said of Pritchard, per Souichi Terada of MassLive. “He can hoop. Just a natural bucket. The way that he plays is so easy. It looks like it just comes naturally to him. So always fun to watch him play, but playing with him, he’s great to play off of. Obviously, the shooter that he is, he can either play off-ball or you play off the ball with him and he has the ball. Very versatile player.”

The Celtics have tinkered with Holiday’s role throughout the preseason, with the expectation being that he could become Boston’s sixth man — while obviously playing a significant role in closing games. That means he’d be playing a solid amount with Pritchard, who already plans on using Holiday as a resource.

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“Jrue is an unbelievable player,” Pritchard said, per Terada. “So for me to have somebody like that that can learn so much from defensively, offensively, just how he attacks the game is incredible. So I’m definitely just going to be picking his brain a lot this year.”

The pairing of Holiday and Pritchard could be an extremely successful one for Boston, which has the pieces in place to have one of the best defenses in the NBA. Holiday will anchor that unit, with Pritchard ideally playing a big role as he learns from a guard who could certainly teach him a thing or two.

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