Payton Pritchard was a little surprised and disappointed to still be with the Celtics when the trade deadline passed Thursday afternoon, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. The third-year guard has proven he can contribute when he gets the opportunity, but he’s only averaging 12.6 minutes per game this season, the lowest figure of his career.
“I definitely was expecting and hoping (for a trade),” Pritchard said. “But you know, I (have to) look at the good things. We’re the best team in the NBA right now and we have a great team with really great players, so for me it’s an opportunity to learn and to keep growing.”
The Celtics were open to trading Pritchard and reportedly explored the market to see what they could get in return for him and Danilo Gallinari. One report said Pritchard was part of Boston’s offer to the Spurs for Jakob Poeltl, but San Antonio opted to send Poeltl to the Raptors.
Pritchard, a four-year college player, is already 25 and is hoping to find a situation soon that offers consistent playing time. The Celtics already picked up his option for next season, so there’s little he can do about his situation until the summer of 2024.
There’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- Danny Green and Terrence Ross are probably the most realistic targets for the Celtics in the buyout market, Brian Robb of MassLive states in a mailbag column. He points out that the $3.2MM disabled player exception that Boston received for Gallinari puts the team in position to outbid most competitors.
- James Harden played his first game in Brooklyn tonight since being traded to the Sixers at last year’s deadline. Harden offered his thoughts about what went wrong for the Nets‘ Big Three and said he was glad to get out when he did, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN. “I don’t look like the crazy one,” Harden said. “I don’t look like the guy or the quitter or whatever the media want to call me. I knew what was going on and I just decided to … hey, I’m not built for this. I don’t want to deal with that. I want to play basketball and have fun.”
- The Raptors had to renounce their rights to six former players to complete the Poeltl trade, tweets Spotrac contributor Keith Smith. They are Isaac Bonga, Jeremy Lin, Jodie Meeks, Lucas Nogueira, Jason Thompson, and longtime restricted free agent Nando De Colo.