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Warriors Rumors: Celtics Guard Payton Pritchard Drawing Trade Interest from GSW

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 18, 2023

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 11:  Payton Pritchard #11 of the Boston Celtics drives to the basket during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on January 11, 2023 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE  (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors and other potential playoff teams have reportedly expressed interest in trading for Boston Celtics guard Payton Pritchard.

According to Brian Robb of MassLive.com, Pritchard's three-point shooting ability and affordable contract have made him a popular target for the Warriors and other teams, but the Celtics have shown no interest in moving him.

Pritchard, 24, was the No. 26 pick in the 2020 draft out of Oregon, and he is in his third NBA season.

Since the Celtics boast one of the deepest and best teams in the league, Pritchard has not been a consistent part of the rotation this season.

His 10.7 minutes per game in 30 contests is a career low, as are his averages of 4.5 points, 1.4 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 0.8 three-pointers made. He is also shooting a career-worst 40.6 percent from the field and 32.9 percent from beyond the arc.

As a rookie, Pritchard played nearly 20 minutes per game and averaged 7.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.5 three-pointers made. He followed that up with 6.2 points, 2.0 assists, 1.9 rebounds and 1.4 three-pointers in 14.1 minutes per game last season.

With the Celtics improving on a yearly basis and adding depth to the backcourt, it has made Pritchard more of a spare part than a key contributor.

Boston acquired Malcolm Brogdon during the offseason to go along with Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Derrick White, leaving limited opportunities for Pritchard to make an impact.

Pritchard is only 12th on the team in minutes per game, but he has played more recently with Brown out due to a groin injury. Pritchard has seen at least 12 minutes in four consecutive games, including a season-high 26:45 in a win over the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday.

While Pritchard is essentially an insurance policy for the Celtics, he would perhaps be a significant rotation piece in Golden State.

Stephen Curry only recently returned from a shoulder injury, while Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins have been banged up at times, leaving Jordan Poole as the only Warriors guard who has consistently stayed healthy.

Injuries have forced unheralded players Anthony Lamb and Ty Jerome into bigger roles than expected, and it is fair to wonder if Pritchard would be more effective if given their minutes.

After winning a championship last season, the Warriors are a disappointing 22-22, but the expectation is still that they will be in the championship mix by the end of the year, especially if they make some shrewd moves at the Feb. 9 trade deadline.

Meanwhile, Boston is the best team in the league at 33-12, and there isn't necessarily much incentive for them to make a big move unless it means adding some frontcourt depth to go with Robert Williams III and Al Horford.

There is no telling when a rash of injuries will strike the backcourt, and because of that, there is value in having a player like Pritchard.