The Boston Celtics have been on an absolute tear ever since their remarkable 2021-22 campaign came to an end in Game 6 of this year’s NBA Finals.
From attacking the free agency market to striking blockbuster deals for quality talents, Brad Stevens and co. have gone about and completely revamped this runner-up rotation and now, as a result, have thrust themselves into the driver’s seat when it comes to contenders for the 2022-23 championship.
Of course, although the moves made by the team’s decision-makers have, in large, had a significantly positive impact on Boston as a whole, it’s safe to say that there may turn out to be a few negative repercussions to come about from them, particularly when it comes to some individual players found on the depth chart.
Payton Pritchard, in specific, is someone that we at HH have gone about and described as being negatively impacted by these numerous offseason transactions, and even have gone as far as to label him “the odd man out when it comes to Boston’s guard rotation” now that they have Malcolm Brogdon joining the mix.
The folks at Bleacher Report seem to agree with this notion and have even gone as far as to describe him as the lone loser on the Boston Celtics based on this year’s offseason.
Citing the team’s treasure trove of perimeter talents surrounding him on the roster, writer Zach Buckley believes that Pritchard, though quite talented, may struggle considerably to find consistent playing time within the rotation:
Unfortunately for Pritchard, Boston’s backcourt looks as deep as ever. All three perimeter starters—Brown, Tatum and Marcus Smart—are still around. So is deadline acquisition Derrick White, plus the aforementioned Malcolm Brogdon. Even rookie second-rounder JD Davison scored a two-way deal and could carve out a small niche with his explosive athleticism.
Where does this all leave Pritchard? Certainly in no better shape (rotation-wise) than last season and arguably in a worse spot. While consistent minutes might help him make a more consistent impact, Boston simply has too many better options ahead of him to make that happen.
The former first-round pick has done nothing but shine since being selected 24th overall by the Boston Celtics back in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Per 100 possessions, for his career, the point guard boasts stellar averages of 20.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 5.6 assists while shooting 41 percent from deep.
While we at the Houdini absolutely adore the 24-year-old and would love nothing more than to see him continue to grow and improve his game with this championship-aspiring C’s team, unfortunately, this newly established depth within both the backcourt and around the perimeter as a whole could easily wind up coming at the expense of Payton Pritchard’s development.