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Celtics reportedly going to hang on to Payton Pritchard at trade deadline

Orlando Magic v Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 18: Payton Pritchard #11 of the Boston Celtics dribbles the ball during warmups before a game against the Orlando Magic at the TD Garden on December 18, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)

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Most teams in the East (and a few in the West) are heading into the NBA trade deadline thinking, “how can we catch the Celtics?”

So what are the Celtics going to do at the trade deadline? Probably nothing. There have been rumors about the Celtics listening to offers for guard Payton Pritchard but Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe says don’t bet on that happening.

It’s hard to envision a trade the Celtics could make that would truly upgrade their rotation. Also, they traded their 2023 first-round pick in the Malcolm Brogdon deal. There’s been some suggestion that the team should consider dealing Payton Pritchard, a valuable piece late last season who has fallen back out of the rotation. But Pritchard is just 24 and Boston is just one injury away from needing him.

Marcus Smart, Derrick White start and Malcolm Brogdon make up the core of the Celtics guard rotation, and Jaylen Brown has played 36% of his minutes at the two this season (using Basketball-Reference’s numbers). That leaves Pritchard on the outside looking in a lot of nights, and why he is averaging just 4.4 points a game this season.

However, Pritchard is a solid rotation guard on a very team-friendly salary (he makes $2.2 million this year and $4 million next), which is why other teams are calling and why the Celtics would be hesitant to trade him. Never say never, but a team will have to blow Boston away to get it to shake up this roster.