Through two preseason games, Boston Celtics guard Payton Pritchard has been worth every penny of his four-year, $30-million extension.
After agreeing to the deal, Pritchard went for a game-high 26 points in Boston's 114-106 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night, then followed up with 21 points in a 114-107 loss to the New York Knicks on Monday. He is currently shooting 55.2 percent from the field (16-for-29) and 45.5 percent from 3-point range.
All signs are pointing toward Pritchard being an integral part of the 2023-24 Celtics. The team is somewhat thin at guard, needs scoring off the bench -- especially from the perimeter -- and has very few players in the second unit that actually have experience playing under Joe Mazzulla.
But all this positivity doesn't guarantee his long-term future in Boston.
Looking Ahead to 2024-25 and Beyond
When Pritchard agreed to the extension, a lot of Boston fans were split.
Some were pleased to see Pritchard in line for more opportunities, while others were unsure if he was the right guy to take on a bigger role in Mazzulla's offense. Flash forward not even a week later, and public opinion has shifted in favor of the move thanks to Pritchard's preseason takeover.
However, some have wisely brought up an alternative route that Boston could take to satisfy both parties in the debate: Trading Pritchard at some point down the road to fulfill more important team needs.