Video: Payton Pritchard desires larger role
“After I’m done here, after this year, I’d like to be part of a bigger role a little bit,” Pritchard said when asked to predict his next 5-10 years. “I definitely do, it’s obviously what I worked for. I think that’s what Brad and them know too, we’ve had that discussion, but a bigger role. I want to be part of a winning culture but I want to also help that, be a really big piece of that. I’m not saying it’s the best player on the team but I don’t know what my future holds unless I can take that next step.”
You can't really blame Pritchard. He's still young, having just turned 25, but as an NBA player your mid 20's are prime years. And when you're not a star player, you can often be out of the league by the time you hit 30. So while Payton is down to be the Celtics 4th point guard this season, with Smart, Brogdon, and White all signed past this season, and an All-Star guard in Jaylen Brown taking up most of the minutes at the 2 spot, you can see why Pritchard has to consider other options than Boston.
The Celtics still have Pritchard under contract for another season, but unless they can show him how he will get 20 minutes a night moving forward with next season, they have to make a decision in the offseason. I previously wrote why the Celtics shouldn't trade Pritchard right now (before the trade deadline) and I stick by that.
Come the offseason though, unless the Celtics plan to go super small ball, one of the other guards or Pritchard will likely have to go. The other option is just to play hardball with Pritchard and tell him that as long as he's on his rookie contract, he has no choice, but to be content riding the pine, but I don't see Stevens doing that.
Here's why the Celtics should NOT trade Payton Pritchard https://t.co/OdaA4UUXOs pic.twitter.com/6IeZLEQGXe— CelticsLife.com (@celticslife) January 19, 2023
NBA rookie contract lengths put players who stay 3 or 4 years in college in a tough spot. You really don't get to be a free agent for quite some time. And even then, it's a restricted free agency which scares away suitors and limits your options. Plus the team that drafted you can always just match the offer sheet.
Unless I'm wrong Pritchard can't be an unrestricted free agent until the summer of 2025, when he will be 27 and half. So if your Payton, or his agent, you'd like some clarity on his role moving forward.
On a side note, it's pretty wild to me that opposing NBA players sit down with each other for podcast interviews during the NBA season. I suppose its no different than going out to dinner together, but it still surprised me.