Payton Pritchard

Celtics Notes: Pritchard, Brogdon, Roster Spot, Tatum

Payton Pritchard didn’t get the trade he wanted last winter and now he may have a regular role in the Celtics‘ rotation, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Frustrated by inconsistent playing time, Pritchard was open about his desire to be sent to another team before the February deadline.

This summer’s Kristaps Porzingis trade, which sent Marcus Smart to Memphis, created an opening in the backcourt that Pritchard hopes to fill. He’s not taking anything for granted as he enters his fourth NBA season, but he views the deal as a sign that the front office has confidence in him.

“If I get the opportunity to play, I’ve got to show what I’m capable of and that I can help win at a high level,” Pritchard said. “So I’m just looking forward to the opportunity of showcasing that. At the end of the day, I’m a winner and am obviously going to help Jaylen (Brown) and Jayson (Tatum) because those are the two that are pushing us, but we’ve all got to help them get over the hump and ultimately win a championship.”

Coach Joe Mazzulla has said Derrick White will replace Smart as the starting point guard, Himmelsbach adds, and Malcolm Brogdon is expected to remain the first guard off the bench. Pritchard’s role isn’t as well defined heading into training camp, but he hopes to show Mazzulla that he can deliver when called upon.

“I think it looks different every night,” Pritchard said. “Obviously, I have the ability to shoot and space the floor, but also this year being able to take pressure off, and if I have to handle and bring it up and showcase more of the passing side of things, I can do that. But I’ve talked to Joe, and it’s going to be a lot of different things.”

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Brogdon still has hard feelings about nearly being included in the Porzingis deal, Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe said on the “Celtics Beat” podcast (hat tip to Gio Rivera of NESN). Brogdon was offered to the Clippers in the original version of the three-team trade, but L.A. declined because there wasn’t time to fully examine his medical records before the deadline for Porzingis to pick up his option for next season. “I think he understands, but (it) doesn’t mean he’s not upset about it,” Washburn said. “So I was told he was not happy with how things went down. Now, does that increase his level of mistrust in the Celtics organization?”
  • The Celtics may wait to fill their open roster spot until other teams make their final cuts, Brian Robb of MassLive states in a mailbag column. Robb believes the team’s most pressing need is to find another big man.
  • Souichi Terada of MassLive examines Tatum’s MVP chances, concluding that his best opportunity is for Boston to emerge as clearly the best team in the East.

Atlantic Notes: Quickley, Knicks, Pritchard, Porzingis, Giles

Teams are getting closer to training camp, which means lingering questions facing NBA clubs will be answered sooner than later. The Knicks, like every team, have several issues to sort out either before training camp or shortly before the season begins writes Zach Braziller of the New York Post in a mailbag.

The biggest question the Knicks must answer is whether or not Immanuel Quickley will get a rookie scale extension before the regular season tips off. In his own mailbag, SNY’s Ian Begley writes that New York and Quickley are expected to negotiate a contract sometime this month. However, if the Knicks decide to make him available via trade, they’ll have plenty of suitors, per Begley.

Begley hears that the Knicks had several trade talks with teams surrounding Quickley at the beginning of the 2022/23 season, prior to his breakout that saw him finish as the Sixth Man of the Year runner-up. However, Begley ultimately expects Quickley to extend with New York, and believes the team will begin extending other core players – Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle and Quentin Grimes – down the road.

Braziller concurs with Begley, and sees the two sides agreeing to a deal that winds up in the four-year, $90-95MM range. Other topics included in Braziller’s mailbag include the future of Evan Fournier and what a matchup between Team USA and Canada in the 2023 FIBA World Cup would look like, with Brunson and Josh Hart potentially squaring off against RJ Barrett.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Celtics guard Payton Pritchard has never averaged more than 19.2 minutes per game in his first three seasons in the league, with his playing time declining in each subsequent season. Jared Weiss of The Athletic explores what Pritchard’s role may look like in 2023/24, which will be instrumental in determining his future with the organization. Pritchard, who wished to be moved at last year’s deadline, could be in line for more minutes with Marcus Smart‘s departure, but will need to improve. Weiss does a full video breakdown of the guard’s game to determine how he can take the next jump.
  • Battling plantar fasciitis, Kristaps Porzingis was forced to be a spectator as Latvia made the final eight of the World Cup and fell to Germany in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston writes that Porzingis choosing to preserve his body in such a crucial moment for his national team is a key indicator that he’s all in on the Celtics this year. Porzingis, whom Boston traded Smart for, is expected to be ready to go by the time the NBA’s training camps begin.
  • While Harry Giles has an uphill climb to make Brooklyn’s roster out of training camp, the Nets have one of the more interesting roster battles on deck, Lucas Kaplan of NetsDaily writes. Giles, Trendon Watford and Darius Bazley appear to be in direct competition for two roster spots on the Nets. Giles, who hasn’t appeared in a game since 2020/21, only has 142 games of NBA experience and is just 25 years old, indicating he may have plenty left in the tank.

Celtics Notes: Brown, Wing Options, Pritchard, Frontcourt

Jaylen Brown‘s first game since signing a record contract with the Celtics came in an unlikely setting — the Big3 All-Star contest, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic. Brown, who became the first active NBA player to participate in a Big3 game, agreed to play because the event, which was held in England, helps to support the London Youth charity.

The decision is also part of Brown’s effort to promote Black-owned businesses, Jones adds. League co-founder Ice Cube told a CBS interviewer that he was “blown away” to have an NBA All-Star on hand.

“I asked him if he was sure he wanted to make this move,” Cube said. “And he was like ‘I want to do this for the game, for the players and it’s a big move for the league’ … This guy is my hero right now.”

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Of the four wings the team is working out this month, Lamar Stevens and T.J. Warren are probably looking for guaranteed money, while Louis King and Glenn Robinson III are more likely to agree to non-guaranteed camp deals, Brian Robb of Mass Live states in a mailbag column. Robb is skeptical about Warren because the Suns opted to let him leave in free agency rather than try to keep him on a minimum-salary deal. He sees Stevens as the best option because he would bring a defensive presence at the wing that rookie Jordan Walsh may not be ready to provide.
  • President of basketball operations Brad Stevens may have erred last year by trading for Malcolm Brogdon when the team had more pressing needs in its frontcourt, Robb adds. Payton Pritchard appeared ready for rotation minutes, but he was frequently kept on the bench because of the logjam in the backcourt. That should be less of a concern this season with Marcus Smart sent to Memphis in the Kristaps Porzingis trade, but Robb still doesn’t foresee Pritchard playing more than 25 minutes per game unless Brogdon gets injured. Pritchard is eligible for an extension until the start of the season, so the Celtics will have to figure out how he fits into their future.
  • Robb also believes Boston should focus on finding another big man before camp rather than relying on Luke Kornet or bringing back Blake Griffin. Oshae Brissett could fill some minutes in the frontcourt, but Robb sees a need for more depth considering the age and injury history of Porzingis, Robert Williams and Al Horford.

Reid, Murphy, Grimes, Pritchard Joining USA Select Team

Timberwolves big man Naz Reid, Pelicans forward Trey Murphy, Knicks guard Quentin Grimes, and Celtics guard Payton Pritchard are among the young players joining the USA Select Team in a couple weeks to practice and scrimmage against the main Team USA roster ahead of the FIBA World Cup.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojanrowski reported that Pritchard, Murphy and Reid would attend the American team’s training camp (Twitter links), while Shams Charania of The Athletic reported (via Twitter) Grimes would be present.

Jalen Williams and Chet Holmgren of the Thunder, Rockets guard Jalen Green, Pistons guard Cade Cunningham, and Kings forward Keegan Murray will also be part of the Select Team, as The Athletic reported on Thursday.

Reid, who signed a three-year, $42MM extension at the end of June to remain with Minnesota, averaged career bests of 11.5 PPG and 4.9 RPG last season. Murphy had a breakout second season in 2022/23, averaging 14.5 PPG, 3.6 RPG and 1.1 SPG on a stellar .484/.406/.905 shooting line.

Grimes started the majority of ’22/23 for New York, averaging 11.3 PPG, 3.2 RPG and 2.1 APG on .468/.386/.796 shooting while playing solid defense. Pritchard had the most modest role of the four new players reportedly joining the Select Team, averaging 5.6 PPG on .412/.364/.750 shooting in 13.4 MPG last season.

It’s possible a player or two on the Select Team could be used as an injury replacement for someone on Team USA’s 12-man roster. For example, Keldon Johnson, who was a Select Team member ahead of the Tokyo Olympics a couple years ago, replaced Bradley Beal when the star guard contracted COVID-19.

The Americans will start training camp for the World Cup on August 3 in Las Vegas, with their first game scheduled later that month in the Philippines.

Celtics Rumors: Pritchard, Draft, G. Williams, Beal, Jefferson

The Celtics have been weighing the possibility of trading Payton Pritchard to try to move into the first round of the 2023 NBA draft, reports Sean Deveney of Boston doesn’t currently control a first-round pick.

A couple of possible targets could be Marquette wing Olivier-Maxence Prosper and UCLA wing Jaime Jaquez, according to Deveney.

Great organization, great history. I had a really good time there,” Prosper said of his workout with the Celtics.

However, Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports suggests (via Twitter) that a potential package deal involving Pritchard and the No. 35 pick might be shelved if the team is able to acquire Kristaps Porzingis from Washington, with Malcolm Brogdon possibly heading to the Clippers and Danilo Gallinari being sent to the Wizards. Losing Brogdon would obviously affect Boston’s backcourt depth and would seemingly open up playing time for Pritchard.

Here are a few more rumors and notes on the Celtics:

  • Multiple league sources tell Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe that if the Celtics do land Porzingis, there’s a good chance Grant Williams may be headed to a new team (Twitter link). As Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype tweets, adding Porzingis’ $36MM contract for 2023/24 would push the club close to the second tax apron, and releasing Williams’ cap hold (along with several others) would give Boston access to the taxpayer mid-level exception. Re-signing Williams would push the Celtics past the second apron.
  • Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston explains why the Celtics weren’t in on the Bradley Beal sweepstakes despite the three-time All-Star’s close ties to Jayson Tatum. Aside from his massive contract and full no-trade clause, which have to be highlighted when talking about a taxpayer like Boston, the Celtics are focused on rebalancing the roster by adding size at other positions rather than acquiring another guard, Forsberg writes.
  • Former NBA big man Amile Jefferson, who was an assistant coach with Duke in ’22/23, is finalizing a multiyear contract to join the Celtics as an assistant, a source tells Travis Branham of Jefferson played 30 games with the Magic from 2018-20.

Celtics Rumors: Guards, Pritchard, G. Williams, Brown, More

The Celtics are reportedly exploring the possibility of trading a guard from a group that includes Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Malcolm Brogdon, and Payton Pritchard. While there has been speculation that the team will look to move one of its higher-priced backcourt pieces, Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe hears from a source that financial factors “won’t guide” Boston’s roster decisions.

That means that Pritchard, who has by far the smallest 2023/24 cap hit of any of those four guards, could be the player on the move, though that’s not a lock either. Himmelsbach’s source says there’s no tension between Pritchard and the franchise despite his stated preference to be traded this past season.

Pritchard simply wants to play a larger role, so if the Celtics could offer him that opportunity, it sounds like he’d be happy to remain in Boston. According to Himmelsbach, the team is still high on the former first-round pick.

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • The Celtics have received calls from teams about possible sign-and-trade scenarios involving Grant Williams, but the likeliest scenario is that he’ll re-sign and remain in Boston, Himmelsbach’s source says.
  • All signs continue to point to Jaylen Brown receiving and signing a super-max extension this summer, with no indication that the Celtics are thinking about trading him, per Himmelsbach.
  • Phil Pressey, a former NBA guard who played with the Celtics from 2013-15, is joining the team’s coaching staff, according to Himmelsbach, who hears the club will likely add at least one more behind-the-bench coach in the not-too-distant future.
  • Celtics draft-and-stash players Yam Madar and Juhann Begarin aren’t expected to play for the team at the Las Vegas Summer League in July, a source tells Himmelsbach. It’s unclear if either one could still emerge as part of the team’s plans for 2023/24.
  • Steve Bulpett of spoke to rival executives and coaches about what the Celtics should – and shouldn’t – do with their roster this offseason.

Atlantic Rumors: Celtics, I. Stewart, C. Johnson, Harden, More

The Celtics are exploring ways to improve their roster, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who suggests that a sign-and-trade of forward Grant Williams or a trade involving one or more of the team’s guards are among the options in play. Brian Robb of published a similar report, suggesting that a source told him Boston has been one of the most active teams on the trade market.

According to Robb, the Celtics are looking into whether they’ll be able to move a player from their crowded backcourt in order to balance their roster and upgrade at another position. Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Malcolm Brogdon, and Payton Pritchard are all under contract for next season.

While Pritchard is the most logical trade candidate, given that he sought a change of scenery during the 2022/23 season and wasn’t part of the Celtics’ playoff rotation, it might make more sense for Boston to move one of its higher-paid guards, Robb writes. That would allow the Celtics to bring back a bigger salary in a trade or would help create flexibility to re-sign Williams.

Interestingly, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic says (via Twitter) that the Celtics are among the teams to inquire about Isaiah Stewart. However, Edwards doesn’t expect the Pistons to move Stewart, who will be extension-eligible this offseason.

Here are a few more rumors from around the Atlantic, including another one that involves the Pistons:

  • Following the Pistons‘ hiring of Monty Williams, Nets restricted free agent forward Cameron Johnson – who played for Williams in Phoenix – is rising on Detroit’s list of free agent targets, according to Marc Stein at Substack. But Brooklyn is “quietly expressing confidence” about its ability to retain Johnson, says Stein, which suggests the team either knows what it will take to re-sign him or fully intends to match any offer he receives as a restricted free agent.
  • If the Nets commit to a lucrative new deal for Johnson, will they have to cut costs elsewhere? Stein notes that forward Dorian Finney-Smith is still viewed as a “prime trade candidate,” while Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer hears from sources that Brooklyn has received calls about both Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale.
  • Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports shares a few Sixers-related tidbits in his latest round-up of rumors from around the NBA, writing that the team appears to prefer another short-term deal with free-agent-to-be James Harden and citing sources who say Philadelphia is “actively seeking” opportunities to trade into the second round of next week’s draft. The 76ers don’t currently own a 2023 draft pick.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Paul, Pritchard, Harris, Sixers’ Draft

Acquiring Chris Paul doesn’t make sense for the Knicks, Steve Popper of Newsday argues. Paul, who has a partially guaranteed contract, is expected to be traded or waived within the next couple weeks.

While the Knicks are in the market for another star player, a backcourt of Paul and Jalen Brunson would be undersized and create other issues, Popper writes. Ideally, Paul could be a sixth man, but the much younger Immanuel Quickley holds that distinction and just finished second in the Sixth Man of the Year balloting.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Payton Pritchard will be a restricted free agent next summer and rival teams are keeping tabs on the Celtics point guard, who is seeking more playing time, according to Steve Bulpett of, who spoke to multiple executives about Pritchard’s value. The 25-year-old’s $4MM salary for next season could be included as part of a bigger trade. He was disappointed when he wasn’t dealt prior to the February trade deadline.
  • Beyond James Harden‘s free agency, the second most pressing question for the Sixers is what to do with Tobias Harris, Rich Hofmann wrote for The Athletic. Harris’ $39.3MM expiring contract could provide cap relief next summer and help Philadelphia avoid the punitive penalties for tax teams in the new CBA. However, it could also be used in a trade to acquire a young talent with a multi-year contract or several players to fortify their depth.
  • The Sixers don’t have a draft pick next week and Kyle Neubeck of points out just how unusual that is. The franchise has made at least one selection every year for 73 straight years. The Jazz currently own the Sixers’ first-round pick and Philadelphia had to forfeit its second-rounder due to tampering charges last summer, stemming from the additions of P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr.

Suns Rumors: Harden, Lillard, Paul, Irving, Russell, More

There have been rumors linking James Harden to Phoenix. John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM shut down that notion (via Twitter), writing that there’s a “zero percent chance” the Suns would pursue the former MVP.

Gambadoro also said it was “highly unlikely” the Suns would have interest in Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, pointing out that his large salary might be unpalatable for a roster that’s already top-heavy (Twitter link). On his Burns and Gambo radio show (Twitter link), the plugged-in local reporter stated in stronger terms that the Suns won’t pursue Lillard.

They’re not getting James Harden, and they’re not getting Damian Lillard,” Gambadoro said.

Here are more rumors on the Suns:

  • Gambadoro’s reporting on Lillard was seemingly in response to a new piece from Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who hears from sources who say that the Trail Blazers have shown interest in Deandre Ayton in the past. However, Fischer also downplays Phoenix’s chances of landing Lillard, noting that the Suns don’t have the requisite assets to land a player of his caliber. The Blazers, meanwhile, still hope to build a contender around their all-time leading scorer, and remain intent on re-signing Jerami Grant, sources tell Fischer.
  • Fischer’s article focuses on Chris Paul‘s uncertain future with the Suns and how it might have a ripple effect around the NBA. Although Lillard and Harden might be unrealistic targets, Fischer writes that the Suns remain intrigued by Kyrie Irving, who is entering unrestricted free agency. As Fischer notes, Irving would basically have to ask the Mavericks for help in a sign-and-trade. Dallas hasn’t shown any interest in helping the Lakers land Irving in a sign-and-trade for D’Angelo Russell, but Fischer wonders if Paul might be more appealing.
  • Could the Lakers and Suns explore a sign-and-trade involving Russell and Paul? The Suns pursued the 27-year-old impending free agent ahead of the February trade deadline when he was still on the Timberwolves, sources tell Fischer. Big man Naz Reid, who’s also set to hit unrestricted free agency, was another player Phoenix desired in talks with Minnesota, Fischer adds.
  • Hornets guard Terry Rozier has been linked to Phoenix in the past, but the Suns didn’t pursue him ahead of the trade deadline, sources tell Fischer. Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley, Celtics guard Payton Pritchard, Kings guard Davion Mitchell, and Heat guard Gabe Vincent are among the other backcourt options the Suns have monitored, per Fischer.
  • Agents that Fischer has talked to believe Paul could get at least part of — if not the full — mid-level exception if he’s waived and becomes an unrestricted free agent. While Paul has been linked to his former club, the Clippers, Fischer notes that they can only offer the veteran’s minimum, and there’s “mutual interest” in a reunion between Russell Westbrook and the Clips.

Celtics Notes: Stevens, Playoff Exit, Brown, Pritchard

It certainly doesn’t sound like the Celtics will be making a change to their core, as president of basketball operations Brad Stevens told Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston that he’s a firm believer in the team’s “foundation.” It’s a lengthy interview with several other insights from Stevens.

I really believe in our foundation,” Stevens said. “It’s really hard to be in the mix in this league. The competition is great. Sometimes things have to go your way, and sometimes they do. But you’ve got to do everything you can to take the luck out.”

Listen, we didn’t have a great playoff run in whole,” Stevens added. “And we certainly were outplayed for the better part of that Miami series, even though it went seven games. So we have a lot of work to do. But it doesn’t mean that we need to mistake activity for achievement. For my seat, I think we have to understand what’s really good and how hard it is to have a foundation, and then figure out how to build off of it.”

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer takes the opposite approach, arguing that they can’t run back the same group and need to make some big changes, including trading Jaylen Brown, whose poor ball-handling was a glaring issue in the Celtics’ Game 7 blowout vs. Miami.
  • Although it could be costly, Stevens seems committed to keeping Brown, tweets Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Brown is eligible for a super-max contract after earning All-NBA honors this year, which could eventually subject the Celtics to some of the harsher provisions in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. “I can say without a doubt we want Jaylen to be here, he’s a big part of us, we believe in him and I’m thankful for him,” Stevens said. “I’m really thankful for when guys have success, they come back to work. When they get beat, they own it and they come back to work.”
  • Stevens also addressed the situation involving Payton Pritchard, who was unhappy with his playing time this season and expressed disappointment after not being traded before the deadline in February, Weiss adds (Twitter link). Stevens said other teams recognize that Pritchard is a talented player who is stuck behind established veterans, but he didn’t promise to pursue a trade this summer.