Payton Pritchard clears up feelings about playing for Celtics


Payton Pritchard wanted to clear the air after Sunday's win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Before Thursday's NBA trade deadline, the Boston Celtics' reserve guard expressed his desire for more playing time and suggested he was open to a change of scenery to make that happen. The Celtics reportedly explored a potential trade involving Pritchard, but they ultimately decided to hold on to one of their best scorers off the bench.

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Despite his comments, Pritchard made it known he's happy to still be with the C's on their quest for Banner 18.

"My mind's already reset. I've already been open about where I was at, and I'm here now," Pritchard said. "Any minutes I get, I'm gonna play because I love to play basketball. This whole thing about what everybody's been saying, it's -- you know, I love the city, I love this organization, I love my teammates. This whole thing was about me wanting to play because that's what I love to do. That's all it's been about.

"But I'm here, and I do love it here. I'm committed and I want to help this team any way I can to win a championship and put a banner up. Whatever that takes."

Pritchard, the Celtics' 26th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, never directly requested a trade out of Boston. Rather, he simply stated that he wants an increased role after showcasing his talent through his first three seasons in the league. The C's backcourt depth has made that difficult with Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon, and Derrick White ahead of him.

While Pritchard's minutes haven't been where he'd like them to be, he still has an important role. Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens made that clear on Friday.

"One thing we all know is he can go in a playoff game and change it," Stevens said. "So when you're a young player, it's tough because you want to prove yourself and prove you belong. He's done that. Everybody in the league knows he can play. We really know he can play. He's not in an easy situation, especially when you're 25, but he's really appreciated here."

Pritchard continues to provide clutch shooting off the bench for Boston. With both Smart and Brogdon out on Sunday, he came through with 12 points while shooting 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.

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

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