Payton Pritchard clarifies feelings about playing for the Celtics

Payton Pritchard clarifies feelings about playing for the Celtics originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Payton Pritchard wanted to clear things up after Sunday’s win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, the Boston Celtics backup guard expressed a desire for more playing time and suggested he was open to a change of scenery to make it happen. The Celtics reportedly explored a potential trade involving Pritchard, but ultimately decided to hold one of their top scorers off the bench.

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Despite his comments, Pritchard did say he’s happy to still be with the Cs in their search for Banner 18.

“My mind is already reset. I’ve already been opened up about where I was, and now I’m here,” Pritchard said. “Every minute I get, I’m going to play because I love to play basketball. This whole thing of what everybody’s saying, it’s — you know, I love the city, I love this organization, I love my teammates. This whole thing was about the fact that I wanted to play because that’s what I love to do.

“But I’m here, and I love it here. I’m busy and I want to help this team any way I can to win a championship and put up a banner. Whatever it takes.”

Pritchard, the Celtics’ 26th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, has never directly asked for a trade in Boston. Rather, she simply said she wanted a bigger role after showcasing her talents during her first three seasons in the league. The C’s backcourt depth made it difficult with Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon and Derrick White ahead of him.

While Pritchard’s minutes weren’t where he wanted them to be, he still plays a part. Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens made that clear on Friday.

“One thing we all know is he can go into a playoff game and change it,” Stevens said. “So when you’re a young player, it’s hard because you want to prove yourself and show that you belong. He did. Everyone in the league knows he can play. We really know he can play. It’s not an easy situation, especially when you’re 25 years, but it’s really appreciated here.”

Pritchard continues to provide shots from the bench for Boston. With Smart and Brogdon out Sunday, he had 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc.

You can watch Pritchard’s full postgame press conference below:

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