With Daniel Theis traded to the Indiana Pacers and Danilo Gallinari out for the foreseeable future with an ACL tear, the Boston Celtics may be on the lookout for more additional help in their frontcourt. They could solve this problem either by adding someone in free agency or by acquiring someone in a trade. Heavy’s Sean Deveney proposed a trade that could potentially help the Celtics fix the problem.
On September 9, Deveney proposed a trade between the Celtics and the Utah Jazz in which the following would happen:
Celtics receive: Jarred Vanderbilt
Jazz receive: Payton Pritchard, draft rights to Yam Madar
Deveney explains why former President of Basketball of Operations Danny Ainge might be interested in acquiring the player he originally picked in the 2020 NBA Draft.
“Why not tempt Danny Ainge with two of his former Celtics draftees? Pritchard was a favorite of Ainge after he took him in 2020, but he has not meshed well with coach Ime Udoka. And with Malcolm Brogdon on board, the Celtics don’t have much need for point-guard depth.”
An Eastern Conference exec told Deveney that the Celtics’ backcourt depth combined with Udoka’s lack of trust in Pritchard may be a reason why the Celtics may trade him.
“I think there is some concern about how (Pritchard) fits in,” the East exec said. “You’ve got three ballhandlers now who are ahead of him in the rotation, all of them are very good defenders, and Pritchard just is not. He can get on the floor because of his shooting but he did not seem to have that trust factor with (Ime) Udoka. They were willing to include him in deals this summer, though obviously, it was not their first choice.”
Deveney also explains why the Celtics might want Vanderbilt.
“The Celtics could use Pritchard and fellow Ainge draftee Yam Madar to get Vanderbilt—a potential long-term replacement for Al Horford—on board.”
Jazz ‘Think Highly’ of Vanderbilt
On September 6, Brian Robb of MassLive listed potentially available Jazz players via trade, which included Vanderbilt. Robb revealed Vanderbilt’s availability after acquiring him from the Rudy Gobert trade.
“League sources tell MassLive that the Jazz think highly of the cheap young power forward acquired as part of the Rudy Gobert deal. He would certainly help fill the Gallinari absence in the frontcourt depth, but his youth makes him a player that’s not as readily available as other veterans.”
The Celtics could also use either the $6.9 million Juancho Hernangomez trade exception or the $5.9 million Dennis Schroder trade exception to acquire Vanderbilt, who is slated to make $4.3 million for the 2022-23 season. If what Robb says is true, though, the Jazz wouldn’t just hand him over to the Celtics in that scenario.
Pritchard Posts New Instagram Video
On September 8, Pritchard posted a highlight reel of him playing pickup basketball on his Instagram Page.
Both former and current Celtics commented on the reel. Josh Richardson, who the Celtics acquired from the Dallas Mavericks but then traded to the San Antonio Spurs mid-season, said, “Yeah, P.”
Joe Johnson, who was teammates with Pritchard when he signed his 10-day contract with the Celtics during the 2021-22 season, said, “P, tell ’em that’s light.”
Current teammate Sam Hauser made his comment short and sweet when he said, “Bunnies.”
Perhaps what’s most encouraging of all is that Pritchard was no longer wearing a mask like he was in the previous reel that he posted on August 18, meaning his broke nose has seemingly healed.
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