The Celtics added Malcolm Brogdon to a guard rotation that includes Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and Payton Pritchard. That’s five guards fighting for playing time and there’s only 48 minutes of basketball per game.
Head coach Ime Udoka will have more veterans around but this depth also means that someone will inevitably be on the court less often. That player could be Pritchard. Zach Buckley from Bleacher Report explained why Pritchard will lose playing time next season.
Unfortunately for Pritchard, Boston’s backcourt looks as deep as ever. All three perimeter starters—Brown, Tatum and Marcus Smart—are still around. So is deadline acquisition Derrick White, plus the aforementioned Malcolm Brogdon. Even rookie second-rounder JD Davison scored a two-way deal and could carve out a small niche with his explosive athleticism.
Where does this all leave Pritchard? Certainly in no better shape (rotation-wise) than last season and arguably in a worse spot. While consistent minutes might help him make a more consistent impact, Boston simply has too many better options ahead of him to make that happen.
Pritchard’s numbers last season
Pritchard got a bigger role after the Celtics traded Dennis Schroder and Josh Richardson. He made the most of the opportunity. According to NBA.com, he played 26 games after the trade deadline and averaged 8.6 points and shot 48.2 percent from the field and 45.4 percent from beyond the arc in 17.4 minutes.