The Boston Celtics are deep at the guard spot. Marcus Smart and Derrick White start, and Malcolm Brogdon is the first guard off the bench, with Jaylen Brown playing essentially a two-guard in some bigger Celtics lineups.
That can leave Payton Pritchard as the odd man out at times — and has other teams making calls to see if he is available via trade, reports Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com.
Not surprisingly, Pritchard’s new situation has other teams sniffing around. Clubs have been investigating whether he might be worth pursuing in a trade (he makes $2.2 million this year and $4.0 million next).
“You’ve got to wonder about him defensively at that size (listed at 6-1), but he plays hard, he can really push the ball and he’s got a nice stroke from 3,” said one personnel man. “I like what I see, but it’s hard to say for sure if he could do more with a better opportunity. And first you have to ask if he’s better than what you have and if he’ll even get more of a look with your team. It’s hard to say, but I know I’m not the only team checking on him. It’s always natural in these situations.”
Pritchard is a solid rotation guard on a very team-friendly salary, which is why other teams are calling and why the Celtics would be hesitant to trade him. Boston understandably likes its roster, but Stevens has been aggressive in the past to fill in where he saw a need (the White trade, or moving Daniel Theis and others as part of the Brogdon deal). If Stevens sees a weakness and a way to fill it – or some team just comes in with an overwhelming offer for Pritchard — he will make a move.
Pritchard is out right now with a thigh injury and is averaging just 4.4 points a game this season, but the Celtics feel they can trust him, and to trade him they will want back quality. We’ll see if another team offers that.