Payton Pritchard appeals to the Blazers considering he’s from the area and played in Oregon. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)Getty Images
In the aftermath of the Damian Lillard trade to the Bucks, the next domino to fall in the league still lies with the Blazers. In the three-team deal that included the Suns, the Blazers acquired guard Jrue Holiday from the Bucks. Considering Portland won’t be contending this season and Holiday’s skillset, he’s a great addition to any contender willing to pay a hefty price for his services.
The Celtics have been rumored to be one of Holiday’s preferred landing spots, which should come as no surprise as a contender. The financials, though, are tricky for the Celtics even with including a potentially-unhappy Malcolm Brogdon in any deal. MassLive’s Brian Robb detailed why a Holiday trade is unlikely as it’ll likely have to include Brogdon, picks and either Robert Williams III or Al Horford. There are other ways to get it done, but the details get difficult.
If there is a Holiday deal to be made, Yahoo! Sports’ Jake Fischer mentioned “Yahoo Sports NBA: Ball Don’t Lie” podcast that a certain C’s guard would also have to be included in the deal.
“With Brogdon to match Holiday’s salary, yeah, Payton Pritchard is going out the door in that scenario,” Fischer said. “Payton Pritchard is definitely someone on Portland’s radar. He played college basketball at Oregon. Clearly, that would be a match made in heaven. But there’s no way to really get the salaries to match if you’re not including Robert Williams or Al Horford. It just kind of gets thorny.”
As Fischer mentioned, that should come as no surprise. Pritchard is from West Linn, Oregon, and played his collegiate ball in an impressive four-year career with the Oregon Ducks. He’s from the Pacific Northwest, which likely appeals to the Blazers.
Portland also won’t be contending and should have minutes available for Pritchard, even with the recent addition of No. 3 pick Shaedon Sharpe. Pritchard himself has been vocal about wanting more minutes, and a return to his hometown team for a larger opportunity likely sounds good to him.
If Pritchard is included in any deal, then the equation could change for the Celtics from salary purposes. They’ll still have to likely throw in some draft capital into any deal considering other teams will likely drive the price higher to trade for Holiday. There are some other factors to consider, like Holiday able to become a free agent next summer.
At this point, a Holiday deal for the C’s appears unlikely considering the makeup of their salary cap. If they were able to land Holiday without giving up too much from the roster, then that would be a huge boost. But that’s a big if at this point, though look out for any deal to also include Pritchard.