Payton Pritchard will not be a free agent at the end of his third season after the Boston Celtics picked up his 2023-24 team option for the Celtics to retain his rights for his fourth year next season, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe.
According to a league source, the Celtics have picked up Payton Pritchard's 2023-24 team option.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) October 29, 2022
No surprises here. It would have been incredibly odd of the Celtics to not pick up his fourth-year option considering that he’s been a part of the Celtics’ rotation at various times over his first two seasons. Although he isn’t part of the rotation currently, there will likely be opportunities for him to demonstrate his value over the course of the 82-game season.
Last year, things looked shaky for Pritchard following his slow start to the season and with the presence of Dennis Schröder after a promising rookie year and an incredible Summer League appearance. Fortunately for Pritchard (and you could argue for the Celtics’ playoff chances), after Schröder was traded to the Houston Rockets, Pritchard was able to carve out a consistent role as the team played its way to two wins away from an NBA championship.
Payton Pritchard is a sharpshooter who also has a quick first step to get to the basket, particularly against bench squads. Now with Malcolm Brogdon and Derrick White both on the team in addition to starting point guard Marcus Smart, Pritchard faces even more of an uphill battle to earn minutes.
This could mean that Pritchard may become a candidate for a trade closer to the deadline, especially as defense and defensive rebounding continue to be glaring concerns for the Celtics. Pritchard does not help with either of those weaknesses, so it remains to be seen if he’ll be on the roster in March.
If he does stick around, though, he most certainly adds value to the roster, as inconsistent as his role may be. For now, though, we know that the Celtics value him enough to want to hang on to his rights for the next season. Much more will be revealed as the season wears on.