This past offseason, the Boston Celtics added point guard Malcolm Brogdon to their rotation, and so far this season, he’s proven to be a valuable commodity. However, his presence has caused Payton Pritchard to be thrust to the end of the bench.
Despite that, sources who spoke with Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports indicated that Boston won’t be looking to trade him any time soon.
“He is on his rookie deal, and as long as that is the case, he is tough to move unless you package him with a guy like Derrick White or Robert Williams,” an Eastern Conference executive told Deveney. “I don’t see that happening. The reality is they have already seen some injuries eat into their depth, and they know that Brogdon is an injury candidate, Marcus Smart has had some injuries, and the way he plays, he is always a risk. They value the depth more than what they might get in a trade, for now at least.”
Through Boston’s first four games, Pritchard has only made two appearances. He’s played for a total of nine minutes and scored just six points. With Brogdon, Marcus Smart, and Derrick White ahead of him in the depth chart, Pritchard hasn’t had the same opportunities he’s been afforded in years past.
However, as the executive noted, Pritchard will be useful if/when Boston’s guards miss time. Brogdon hasn’t played in more than 60 games since the 2018-19 season, and outside of last year, Smart hasn’t played more than 60 games since 2018-19, either.
Celtics Looking to Use TPEs
But while the Celtics may not be looking to trade Pritchard, they are poking around in the trade market. According to another executive who talked to Deveney, Boston is exploring potential deals with their TPEs.
“It is clear that they’re asking about big guys but they’re asking about wings, too, poking around,” one league executive told Heavy Sports. “They’re taking the temperature on what might be out there, who might get released or bought out, who they might have to give up a pick, a first-rounder, a second-rounder, to get. It is early so no one is giving up on players now but when you get to late December and January, seems like they want to be in a good spot to make a call on what to do then.”
Boston currently has six TPEs available to them, but only two are worth more than $5 million. They have a trade exception from the Juancho Hernangomez deal that is worth roughly $6.9 million and one from the Dennis Schroder deal that’s worth around $5.9 million.
Potential TPE Targets for Celtics
For that amount of money, there aren’t many players around the league who Boston could target. However, based on the fact that they’re looking at bigs and wings, a few players stand out as possible options.
When looking at potentially available wings, a couple of names that stand out are Rudy Gay and Kenrich Williams. Gay is currently on the Utah Jazz, and Williams is on the Oklahoma City Thunder, both teams that will likely look to tank this season.
As for bigs, some names include Alex Len of the Sacramento Kings, Boban Marjanovic of the Houston Rockets, and Willy Hernangomez of the New Orleans Pelicans.
None of the players Boston could target would be good enough to play big-time minutes, but some would be able to provide them with quality depth minutes.