Following the blockbuster three-team trade that saw the Milwaukee Bucks land Damian Lillard, questions are swirling about the future of Jrue Holiday, who is heading to the Portland Trail Blazers as part of the deal—a day after he expressed his desire to “retire a Buck.”
Full trade, per sources:
– Bucks: Damian Lillard
– Blazers: Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara, 2029 first-round Bucks pick and Bucks pick swap
– Suns: Jusuf Nurkic, Nassir Little, Keon Johnson, Grayson Allen https://t.co/56I888abMs
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 27, 2023
Given Portland’s current trajectory, it is unlikely that Holiday will remain in the Pacific Northwest. However, there are several teams that have their sights on the two-time All Star and 2021 NBA champion.
NBA Rumors: Four Teams That Could Trade for Jrue Holiday
Holiday finished this past season averaging 19.3 points and 7.4 assists per game on .479/.384/.859 splits. He ends his time in Milwaukee with a statline of 18.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.5 steals on 49% shooting from the field. It’s an impressive mark for the dynamic two-way player who seamlessly orchestrated the offense next to Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Entering his 15th season at 33 years old, Holiday shows no signs of slowing down. He is a playoff-caliber point guard who can help any contender and elevate their facilitator spot. Having previous experience as both a starter and backup helps immensely, showing his worth as an overall team player.
Teams That Could Trade for Holiday
Portland is wasting no time attempting to move Holiday, engaging in trade talks surrounding him and his $36 million salary. Here are four teams who could trade for the veteran guard.
With an uncertain point guard situation, Boston could use Holiday’s experience and skill set. The recent reports around Malcolm Brogdon add fuel to the fire of a potential deal. If the Celtics are interested in trading for Holiday, they could package Brogdon’s expiring $22.5 million contract with other players and picks to get a deal done.
Because Boston is now under the second apron, they are unable to take more money than what they send out. That means they’d have to match Holiday’s salary in any potential trade. As such, packaging Brogdon with say, Al Horford and Payton Pritchard, would make a successful trade salary-wise. Holiday’s fit next to Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kristaps Porzingis is also an intriguing and exciting possibility.
Following the failed talks with Lillard, it seems odd that Miami would want to talk to Portland again. But, having a deal like this—where the Heat wouldn’t have to throw in the kitchen sink—could be a better option. Miami could move on from Kyle Lowry in a package for Holiday. They’re in the same boat as Boston as a second apron team, but could make something work if they really want to upgrade at point guard.
Lowry is 37 years old and coming off of a solid season. He averaged 11.2 points and 5.1 assists per game in 55 contests. If his best days are behind him, backing up a young talent in Henderson and serving as a veteran presence in Portland would do him good. Holiday, as mentioned earlier, is still good enough to play for a contender, and making the move to Miami would be a prime opportunity. It’s also a consolation for Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, who still get a standout point guard—just not the one they were expecting.
A third contender to watch in the Holiday sweepstakes is the team that drafted him, according to Sixers reporter Kyle Neubeck. Philadelphia took Holiday with the 17th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, and he developed into a reliable starting guard in the four seasons he spent there. Though the Sixers are still in the midst of the James Harden debacle, they could trade for Holiday by moving on from Tobias Harris. Harris’s name has spread in trade circles for the past few seasons. Given his subpar play attached to his $39 million expiring contract, this is the perfect chance for Philly to move him.
Whether a Holiday trade could kick the tires on a Harden deal is another story. However, it could reopen the door for that as well.
Finally, the Chicago Bulls—a Play-in team on the rise—could be a team in need of Holiday’s services. Holiday is childhood friends with DeMar DeRozan, with the two being LA natives. He would also provide stability for the Bulls’ point guard troubles, acting as a replacement for the injured Lonzo Ball and elevating the team’s offense.
Chicago has the assets to match Holiday’s salary, namely Ball ($20 million) and two of Alex Caruso ($9.6 million), Ayo Dosunmu ($6.4 million) or Jevon Carter ($6.1 million). Holiday would be an ideal fit in Chicago’s starting lineup next to DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic. With the Bulls eager to improve off of their ninth-place finish from last season, a win-now trade for Holiday might be the answer.
The Last Word
Following Holiday’s move to Portland, he is expected to garner interest from several teams, and rightfully so. He can continue his career on a contender or help a Play-in team become one. The Blazers are officially beginning their rebuild, and trading Holiday for more assets is the next step in that journey.