Payton Pritchard hints at future ‘after I’m done here’ with Celtics amid limited minutes

Pritchard is averaging just 12.5 minutes per game so far this season.

Boston Celtics guard Payton Pritchard brings the ball up court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Jan. 16, 2023.
Payton Pritchard has found his minutes cut following the arrivals of Derrick White and Malcolm Brogdon. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

Minutes have been hard to come by for Payton Pritchard as of late.

A spark plug off the bench in his rookie season with Boston, Pritchard carved out a steady role (19.2 minutes per game) under Brad Stevens’ watch in 2020-21.

But with Marcus Smart, Dennis Schroder, and eventually Derrick White slotted further up the depth chart, Pritchard’s minutes dropped to 14.1 per game last year.

The addition of a key bench piece in Malcolm Brogdon has continued to limit Pritchard’s role in 2022-23. Through 35 games, Pritchard is averaging a career-low 12.5 minutes per game.

The Celtics might boast the best record in the NBA, but Pritchard’s reduced role is clearly weighing on the reserve guard.


During an appearance on the Point Forward podcast with Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner, Pritchard both discussed his current situation in Boston and hinted at his future priorities in the coming seasons. 

Andre Iguodala: “Walk me through the next 5 or 10 years for yourself.”

Payton Pritchard: “Obviously after I’m done here, after this year, I’d like to look — be a part of a bigger role a little bit.”

Iguodala: “You should want that.”

Pritchard: “I definitely do. It’s obviously what I work for. I think that’s what Brad [Stevens] and them know, too. We’ve had that discussion but — a bigger role. I want to be part of a winning culture but I want to also help that, be a really big piece of that. I’m not saying it’s the best player on the team but I don’t know what my future holds unless I can take that next step. I don’t know what it is in five or 10 years but I just want to look back and know that I put my best foot forward. I put all the work in so whatever happens I can live with it as long as I did it my way. That’s the most important thing for me.”


Pritchard has one more year left on his rookie contract with Boston, representing just a $4 million cap hit in 2023-24. The 25-year-old guard will become a restricted free agent in 2024-25, with Boston still holding matching rights against any potential offer.

Even though Pritchard is a good insurance option in Boston’s backcourt rotation, a larger role is far from a given with this team. With Smart, Brogdon, and White all signed through the 2025 season, Pritchard faces an uphill climb when it comes to earning more playing time.

Pritchard’s shooting talent (39.8 three-point percentage over 172 career games) might make him a coveted target ahead of the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 9.

But the former Oregon Duck has showcased his value over the last few weeks, earning added reps in place of an injured Smart. Against the Raptors on Jan. 21, Pritchard scored all 12 of his points in the fourth quarter en route to a two-point road victory. 

He may not be satisfied with his current position on Boston’s depth chart. But Pritchard is still a useful contributor on a Celtics team that needs depth ahead of a long playoff push.


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com