So far this season, reserve Boston Celtics guard Payton Pritchard has not gotten much playing time, but he’s been a key microwave scorer for the Celtics whenever interim head coach Joe Mazzulla has called his number.
Even so, fans and analysts alike have at times clamored to trade the Oregon native to another team despite the help he is providing to Boston, with varying motives ranging from doing Pritchard a solid so his game can continue to develop more to using the Oregon alumnus as part of a trade to add a player to the Celtics slightly thin frontcourt rotation.
Among the analysts clamoring for Fast PP to end up on another team is the Athletic’s John Hollinger.
“Boston is going gangbusters but is so deep in the backcourt that Payton Pritchard has been squeezed into a bit role despite performing well in his limited minutes,” writes Hollinger.
“With Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon, and Derrick White ahead of him in the backcourt pecking order, it’s been near-impossible for Pritchard to break through. Pritchard is 25, shoots 41.2% career from 3, and has another year left beyond this one on a rookie contract that pays him peanuts. He’s valuable! He’s just less valuable to Boston right now than almost any other team.”
“In his case, one out would seem to be as a trade chip to get Boston another big man,” suggests the Athletic analyst.
“The Celtics have thus far survived the absence of Robert Williams III, with the help of some solid contributions from scrap-heap pickup Luke Kornet,” offers Hollinger, “but the injuries to Williams and Gallinari exposed what is perhaps the one weakness on a loaded Boston team.”
That ‘weakness’ is not especially noticeable at the moment, and thus seemingly overblown.
But while Pritchard’s success as a microwave scorer this season has made an excellent case to retain him, the invisible impact of wear and tear on Al Horford and perhaps Timelord later and the level of trust one needs for bigs to play in the postseason adds weight to Hollinger’s perspective.
Listen to the “Celtics Lab” podcast on:
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3zBKQY6
[mm-video type=video id=01gjjy35g38zqvtwkq4s playlist_id=01eqbzegwgnrje4tv2 player_id=01eqbvq570kgj8vfs7 image=https://images2.minutemediacdn.com/image/upload/video/thumbnail/mmplus/01gjjy35g38zqvtwkq4s/01gjjy35g38zqvtwkq4s-d18ba9b3015d9b8885176772a00ffb59.jpg]