The Dallas Mavericks watched as Boston Celtics got bounced from the NBA Playoffs in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday night. Boston battled back after going down 3-0 in the series, but couldn't finish the job on their home floor.
The Celtics will watch the NBA Finals from their couches as the number 8 seed Miami Heat advanced to battle the Denver Nuggets.
Boston's comeback was remarkable, but it was too little, too late. Although all the news from the past few days has been surrounding Celtics' star Jaylen Brown and his future in Boston, another Boston Celtic could potentially get moved this summer.
Should the Dallas Mavericks trade for under-appreciated Boston Celtic guard?
These rumblings of Pritchard wanting a trade first came from Jay King and Jared Weiss (subscription required) of The Athletic as they published a story that detailed an inside look into the Celtics' season. One of the most prevalent things reported in that article was that Pritchard "has made it clear that he hopes to be traded this summer."
His minutes were way down as he averaged just 5.7 minutes per game in the playoffs and was a healthy scratch in ten of Boston's 20 playoff games. This was frustrating for Pritchard as he likely believes he can be impactful in the playoffs but was never given a true chance to contribute.
Pritchard averaged 5.6 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game this season and shot 36.4 percent from three. He posted career lows in most statistical averages, but this because of decreased minutes. He was only playing 13.4 minutes per game.
One team that could swoop in and pursue Pritchard on the trade market is the Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavericks need a secondary ball handler, and Pritchard would fill that role perfectly. He is a phenomenal shooter and playmaker, something that Dallas needs. He could switch off with Jaden Hardy for ball-handling duties in the second unit and be a spark plug off the bench.
He is also a decent defender that hustles and pesters ball handlers. This is the type of point guard that Dallas needs off their bench as he brings defensive effort and facilitates at a high level. He may not be the most skilled defender, but he will give all he has. If Dallas makes considerable upgrades to their bench unit's defense and brings in high-level defenders, Pritchard should be considered.
He is also looking for an increased role, and Dallas could give that to him. Pritchard has experience running a second unit, and Dallas struggled tremendously without signing a solid point guard in last summer's free agency.
They had too much trust in Frank Ntilikina, and it came back to bite them. They can't take that same approach this offseason.
If the Celtics end up looking to trade Pritchard, Dallas should only look to make the move if they can buy low. He would be their lead ball handler off the bench and would have the chance to prove himself as he is in a contract year.
Stay tuned to see if Payton Pritchard ends up on the trade block and if Dallas decides to strike. The Dallas Mavericks have to make big moves this summer to return to the playoffs, and we'll have you covered with all news and rumors.