Payton Pritchard has agreed to a four-year, $30 million extension to stay with the Boston Celtics, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday afternoon.
Pritchard’s future with the team was murky after he reportedly requested a trade last season, playing behind both starting guards Marcus Smart and Derrick White. Sixth Man of the Year Malcolm Brogdon played a major role off the bench, relegating Pritchard to reserve and garbage time status.
However, this offseason saw Pritchard change his tune about a potential trade, as with the departure of both Smart and Brogdon, he now firmly occupies the third guard spot behind White and Jrue Holiday.
Many fans wondered if Pritchard’s talents were being wasted in such a limited role, as he was a part of the Celtics’ NBA Finals rotation the year prior. An undersized player that struggles on the defensive end, Pritchard is talented shot creator who can heat up from deep and provide some break-glass-in-case-of-emergency threes in a tight spot.
When he was on the floor, Pritchard often played well above his reserve status, frequently feasting at the end of games or when regular rotation players missed time, posting a 30-point triple-double in the final game of the regular season against the Atlanta Hawks.
After practice yesterday, teammate Sam Hauser said of Pritchard, “he’s really, really been aggressive. He worked really hard this summer, and I think he’s out for blood this year. So, I’m really excited to see what he has to bring to the table this year.”
The new deal keeps Pritchard in Boston for a very reasonable number, locking him down through the Celtics three-year window in which many of the teams’ most important contracts line up.