NBA Draft: Celtics pick Pritchard
Payton Pritchard has gone from being a four-time state champion at West Linn High to Pac-12 player of the year at Oregon to now being an NBA first-round draft pick.
The point guard was drafted in the first round, 26th overall, by the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.
"It was a very emotional moment. For me, it took a lot of hard work," Pritchard said during his NBA media availbility. "Definitely went through a lot of ups and downs in high school, college. Just to finally get to this moment is unreal, and it was definitely filled with a lot of emotions with my mom and dad and stuff like that. So just excited."
Initial reaction to the selection was positive.
"Boston selected a competitive player and a winner," ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said. "He's a clutch performer. He led the NCAA in minutes played. He can stretch it out and shoot it from deep. He's a competitive defender; he stays in front of you when he guards on the ball.
"He constantly fights. He's a fighter and a winner."
Danny Ainge, a former North Eugene star, Eugene native and NBA player, serves as general manager and president of basketball operations for the Celtics.
Meanwhile, the Trail Blazers selected two Pac-12 players, though their first-round pick, Washington center Isaiah Stewart, will wind up in Detroit.
The Blazers are acquiring forward Robert Covington from the Rockets for Trevor Ariza and the 2020 first-round pick and a future Portland first-round pick.
Stewart and Ariza will reportedly be going to Detroit in a deal involving the Rockets and Pistons.
In the second round, with the 46th pick, the Blazers selected Washington State shooting guard CJ Elleby. He's 6-6, averaged 18.4 points and 7.8 rebounds last season and has a healthy head of hair. (Look on the internet for the photos). And, there are now two guys named CJ on the roster (the other being McCollum). He was also recruited to Washington State by then-coach Ernie Kent, who had led the Oregon Ducks to two NCAA Elite Eight appearances.
Pritchard, the 13th Oregon Duck ever taken in the first round of an NBA Draft, was projected as a second-round pick in most mock drafts. He said he knew the Celtics had some interest, but didn't think Boston would be his destination.
"I'm just excited to be part of this (Celtics) organization, be part of a winning culture," he said. "Wherever I've been, in high school, college, it's always been about winning and competing, and so I get to carry that on. Hopefully I get to expand my game and win a lot of games."
Asked to describe what Boston is getting, Pritchard said:
"I can really shoot it, dribble, pass, but I think the biggest thing that I bring to the Celtics is just a competitive nature, a winning mentality type of guy that fights for everything, works for everything."
Pritchard was the second guard taken by Boston in the first round on Wednesday. The Celtics nabbed Aaron Nesmith out of Vanerbilt, known for his shooting range, with the 14th pick.
Oregon State's Kylor Kelley and Tres Tinkle were not among the 60 players drafted on Wednesday.
The NBA free-agency period opens on Friday, after which we'll know the teams for Hasaan Whiteside, Carmelo Anthony and Rodney Hood (who opted out of his deal). Hood could return to Portland, as could Anthony. But, Whiteside will likely be on another NBA team.
Training camps are set to open Dec. 1, and the NBA regular-season is scheduled to start Dec. 22.
1. Minnesota — Anthony Edwards, G, Georgia
2. Golden State — James Wiseman, C, Memphis
3. Charlotte — LaMelo Ball, G, U.S.
4. Chicago — Patrick Williams, F, Florida State
5. Cleveland — Isaac Okoro, F, Auburn
6. Atlanta — Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC
7. Detroit — Killian Hayes, G, France
8. New York — Obi Toppin, F, Dayton
9. Washington — Deni Avdija, F, Israel
10. Phoenix — Jalen Smith, F, Maryland
11. San Antonio — Devin Vassell, G, Florida State
12. Sacramento — Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State
13. New Orleans — Kira Lewis Jr., G, Alabama
14. Boston — Aaron Nesmith, F, Vanderbilt
15. Orlando — Cole Anthony, G, North Carolina
16. Portland — Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington (traded to Houston, which traded to Detroit)
17. Minnesota — Aleksej Pokusevski, F, Serbia (traded to Oklahoma City)
18. Dallas — Josh Green, G, Arizona
19. Brooklyn — Saddiq Bay, F, Villanova (traded to L.A. Clippers, which traded to Detroit)
20. Miami — Precious Achiuwa, F, Memphis
21. Philadelphia — Tyrese Maxey, G, Kentucky
22. Denver — Zeke Nnaji, F, Arizona
23. New York — Leandro Bolmaro, G, Argentina (traded to Minnesota)
24. Milwaukee — RJ Hampton, G, U.S. (traded to New Orleans, which traded to Denver)
25. Oklahoma City — Immanuel Quickley, G, Kentucky (traded to Minnesota, which traded to New York)
26. Boston — Payton Pritchard, G, Oregon
27. Utah — Udoka Azubuike, C, Kansas
28. Los Angeles Lakers — Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington (traded to Oklahoma City, which traded to Minnesota)
29. Toronto — Malachi Flynn, G, San Diego St.
30. Boston — Desmond Bane, G, TCU (traded to Memphis)
NOTE: Trades are subject to NBA approval
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