Notable Celtics player hinting at leaving team?
The Boston Celtics have been all biscuits and gravy over the last year or so, but one player on their roster may soon be looking to dip.
Celtics guard Payton Pritchard appeared this week on Andre Iguodala’s “Point Forward” podcast and made some comments hinting at a possible departure from the team.
“Obviously after I’m done here [in Boston], after this year, I’d like to be a part of a bigger role a little bit,” he said, per Audacy. “[Celtics president] Brad [Stevens] and them know, too. We’ve had that discussion.
“A bigger role, I want to be part of a winning culture,” Pritchard added. “But I want to also help that [winning culture], be a really big piece of that. I’m not saying it’s [as] the best player on the team, but I don’t know what my future holds unless I can take that next step.”
The 25-year-old Pritchard has spent his entire NBA career up to this point on the Celtics and has made headlines (sometimes negative ones) with his tenacious defense. But Pritchard, who is also a 39.8 percent career three-point shooter, has been relegated to (at the best) fourth in Boston’s guard hierarchy this season. Marcus Smart and Derrick White continue to play very well as the starters, and Malcolm Brogdon arrived over the summer, becoming the Celtics’ go-to sixth man. As a result, Payton is mostly just seeing janitorial duty (12.5 minutes per game over 35 total appearances).
Pritchard is still on his rookie deal, which runs through the 2023-24 season. But he can become a free agent after that (restricted if the Celtics tender him a qualifying offer but unrestricted if they do not). He could be a trade chip as well. Granted, Boston may have their reasons to keep Pritchard around as an insurance policy.