22.2 Years Old
By Max Feldman
In Partnership with PearlScouting
- Lightning quick feet from baseline to baseline
- All-around ‘Alpha’ in terms of creation for himself and others
- Limitless range with a good base, steady and fluid release
- Extremely instinctual and heady floor general, incredibly tight handle
- Pesky, quick handed, high IQ defender
- Toughness, competitiveness, wants the ball in his hands down the stretch
- Winning pedigree
- Lacks an established middle game
- Glaring physical short comings
- One career dunk, lacks vertical athleticism
- Poor to average defender on isolation and spot ups
- Draft age
Payton Pritchard has grown from stealing the starting point guard spot as a freshman from a senior player eventually going to the Final Four, and just a few years later he is the winner of the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award and a unanimous All American.
Pritchard as a prospect is a polarizing case. In his senior campaign, the Oregon Duck senior made a statement and shored up many areas of concern in terms of translation to the next level. His size and vertical athleticism were the major concerns, but Payton added nuances into his game to lessen the impact of these variables. The smooth 6 foot 2 guard uses hesitations around the rim, pump fakes and loves to draw contact, hang in there and finish around much bigger defenders. Shooting is his bread and butter, nearing 40% for his career beyond the arc and 45% from the field. Payton has found a unique manner to balance his extremely underrated flare with his patience and IQ as a playmaker. Pritchard falls in the 85th percentile or higher, an extraordinarily high mark, in four of the seven major offensive categories according to Synergy Sports.
On the defensive end, questions and concerns will drop Pritchard’s stock on Draft day. With a stocky frame at 190 pounds, Pritchard does not necessarily get out muscled by bigger guards and wings, but is at a deficit against longer wings. He uses IQ and feel for the game to find good positioning and is an above average zone defender as an instinctual, speedy, and pesky guard. The largest questions of concerns on this end are his rating in 39th and 41st percentiles respectively in terms of pick and roll as well as isolation defense. These variables tend to negatively translate at the next level.
With a high draft age of 22 years old, Pritchard certainly has a role at the next level but may be capped his athletic and physical shortcomings. In the right spot, teams will undoubtedly fall in love with Payton Pritchard’s skillset, toughness and clear cut shot making abilities.
Pritchard will likely be selected at the beginning of the second round of the 2020 NBA Draft, and will prove to be a solid selection or a steal. There is a Trae Young-esque type of flash and flare often when you watch him, although it is sometimes combatted by lengthy defenders. In the short term, Payton has a mature and confident feel for the game likely translating to a reserve bench role as a scoring boost and a heady, trustworthy floor general.