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#26 – Payton Pritchard – Boston Celtics

David Yapkowitz

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With the 26th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics have selected Payton Pritchard from Oregon.

Pritchard, a senior out of the University of Oregon, was one of the draft’s oldest. That said, he should be more than capable of making an impact at the next level. A solid facilitator, Pritchard possess a strong on-court awareness and vision. And, while he forced a lot of shots up at Oregon, much of that had to do with his role on the team — Pritchard is often regarded as a strong shooter. Likewise, he’s shown some comfort in attacking off the bounce.

The Celtics have long struggled to draw fouls, and Pritchard (2.9 FTAs per game for his career) certainly won’t help in that regard. Further, and while he certainly put in the effort on defense, Pritchard is a bit undersized and could be exploited on that end of the court. Still, Pritchard should prove a capable backup option behind Kemba Walker for the Celtics.

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Sources: Mavericks Gauging Trade Value of Kristaps Porzingis

Basketball Insiders

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The Dallas Mavericks set out to fortify their defense around Luka Doncic and their historic scoring attack this offseason.

Yet here the Mavericks stand, ninth in the Western Conference, ranking 27th in overall defense, and Kristaps Porzingis’ steady decline on that end of the floor appears to be the biggest dilemma this front office is now facing.

In fact, Dallas has quietly gauged the trade market for Porzingis, according to league sources, as the Mavericks have begun reevaluating whether the 25-year-old center can truly support Doncic as the second option on a contender. “They’ve kicked the tires on everybody on their roster that’s not named Luka,” one person with knowledge of Dallas’ thinking said. “You know [president of basketball operations] Donnie [Nelson]; they’re always tinkering.”

“They’ve definitely sniffed around on him,” an assistant general manager told B/R. “They’re taking the temperature, because they know at some point it’s gonna come around.”

Source: Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report

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Sources: Timberwolves Dismiss Ryan Saunders

Basketball Insiders

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The Minnesota Timberwolves have dismissed coach Ryan Saunders, sources tell ESPN.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Sources: DeMarcus Cousins, Rockets to Part Ways

Basketball Insiders

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The Houston Rockets and center DeMarcus Cousins are planning to part ways in coming days, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Houston wants to go smaller, younger in frontcourt when Christian Wood returns and this allows Cousins to find an opportunity elsewhere.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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