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Payton Pritchard Draft Profile

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Although he is most likely staying another year, Pritchard could be a good backup in the NBA

First and foremost, Pritchard is most likely coming back for his fourth and final year in Eugene but it’s always good to test the waters to figure out what he can improve upon. Payton has some unfinished business he has to take care of back at Oregon before he can go and get his paycheck.

In a successful junior season, Pritchard averaged 12.9 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 4.6 APG, and 1.8 SPG in 35.5 MPG (most on the team). His most impressive game came in the PAC-12 championship against Washington where he put together an impressive stat line of 20 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 steals in the 68-48 win. He has really etched his name in the Oregon history books.

When looking towards the future, Pritchard would ideally serve as a backup point guard in the NBA. When I think of players in the league that would be a good comparison, I think of TJ McConnell, José Calderón, Ryan Arcidiacono, Shabazz Napier, or even (at his peak) Fred VanVleet. Still a solid career option but he has some skills he needs to improve and hone in on if he wants to get to that point.

Leadership is not a problem. Payton can direct an offense and we have seen so many examples of this on the court. He has a strong motor and a high basketball IQ. Although you can’t improve on size and athleticism, Pritchard can continue to work on his shots from deep. He shot 41.3% from three-point land in the 2017-2018 campaign but dropped to 32.8% just this past season. Another year in a Ducks uniform doesn’t hurt. A strong senior year with a deep tournament run could just be enough for an NBA team to take a chance on PP.

*Arden Cravalho is a senior at Gonzaga University... Follow him on Twitter @a_cravalho