Pritchard’s Rookie Season Recap:
Payton Pritchard was the 26th pick in the first round of the 2020 NBA draft. Though he was not in the rookie-of-the-year conversation, Pritchard gave the Celtics some great minutes. The 6’1″ shooting guard from Oregon averaged 7.7 PPG, 2.4 RPG, and 1.8 APG in his first season in the NBA (in the 66 games he played). “Fast PP” (nickname given by Celtics nation) was a 3-point shooting machine. He made 102 3-pointers which is the second most made by a Celtic rookie in franchise history. Pritchard only needed four more to pass Jayson Tatum (105) at the No.1 spot.
Why Does Pritchard Standout More Than The Other Young Players?
Young players like Romeo Langford, Carsen Edwards, and Grant Williams have not produced as expected for Boston. All three of these players were drafted in the 2019 draft. In the last two seasons, Williams has averaged 4 PPG (132 games), Edwards 3.6 PPG (68 games), and Langford 2.7 PPG (50 games). In only one season, Pritchard has shown to be different, reliable, and efficient. The reason is that he is not afraid to shoot the ball and is extremely explosive for a rookie. Though Pritchard stands at only 6 feet 1 inch (195 LBs), his dog mentality lets him play solid defense.
What Should We expect From Payton Next Season?
Pritchard has gained the trust of not only Coach Brad Stevens and his teammates, but all of Celtics nation as well. Depending on the starting 5 for the Celtics next season, Pritchard has proven that he can be the second or third guy off the bench. If Payton gets better this offseason, which he will. He can provide a boost for Boston’s second unit, which is more than needed. The Celtics this past season had one of the worse bench performances we have seen. The entire season, Boston’s starters had to play extended minutes with minimum breaks because players off the bench were unreliable, for the most part. Payton’s development this offseason will be crucial to the Celtic’s success come the 2021-2022 season. He’s going to be a big piece off the bench and will be expected to put up some decent numbers.
Will Payton Pritchard Secure The Bag When The Time Comes?
Payton signed a two-year/ $4,173,240 contract with the Celtics (expiring in 2022). With Club Options being available for 2023 and 2024, Pritchard should be expected to get paid if he continues to improve his game. Now I’m not saying that he’ll get a bag big as Tatum, who signed a 5 year/$163,000,590 contract, but he could, though it is unlikely. Payton shouldn’t, and probably isn’t, worrying about the money right now. His mentality is to get better at the game of Basketball, both mentally and physically. And he knows that he has to earn it, which is why he will only get better.
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