Could Jrue Holiday make his way to Boston and join the Celtics through a trade? Some early reports have suggested that the Celtics may be looking to acquire the two-time All-Star.
Not a big surprise, but I’ve been told the Celtics are expected to explore the possibility of trading for Jrue Holiday.
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) September 28, 2023
A shocking three-team trade saw the Milwaukee Bucks ship Holiday out to the Portland Trail Blazers in a package for Damian Lillard. However, it doesn’t appear that Holiday’s stay in Portland will be long.
As it stands, it looks like the Celtics may have some competition in the Holiday sweepstakes.
This news comes roughly one week before the start of training camp for the Celtics.
Jrue Holiday: The Next Member of the Boston Celtics?
Jrue Holiday Career Breakdown
The Philadelphia 76ers selected Holiday with the 17th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft out of UCLA.
In 2013, Holiday made his first All-Star team as a reserve. At just 22 years old at the time, Holiday was the youngest player in franchise history to be an All-Star.
Holiday enjoyed a lot of success in New Orleans, establishing himself as one of the league’s best perimeter defenders.
In seven seasons with the Pelicans, Holiday was selected to his first All-Defensive First Team in 2018 and his first All-Defensive Second Team in 2019.
On November 23, 2020, the Pelicans traded Holiday to the Bucks as a part of a massive four-team trade.
In his first year with the Bucks, Holiday won his first career NBA championship after the team defeated the Phoenix Suns in six games in the 2021 NBA Finals.
On April 4, 2021, the Bucks signed Holiday to a contract extension.
Holiday was selected to an All-Defensive Team during all three years he spent in Milwaukee. On top of this, the NBA named Holiday the league’s Teammate of the Year in 2020 (albeit with the Pelicans), 2022, and 2023.
For his career, Holiday averages 16.4 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 6.5 APG. Additionally, Holiday averages 1.5 SPG and is a career 46.2% shooter from the field.
Why The Boston Celtics Should Trade for Jrue Holiday
Holiday’s potential with the Celtics is obvious–he is an elite defender who is also a great playmaker and shooter.
The Celtics traded Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies this offseason. Because of this, there is a clear need for defensive depth in the backcourt.
It is unclear what Portland’s asking price is for Holiday. However, it seems evident the team is looking to trade him sooner rather than later since he does not fit their timeline.
That said, Holiday would not come cheap.
Holiday’s $34.9 million salary for the 2023-24 would make him the second-highest paid player on the team (only behind newly-acquired Kristaps Porzingis).
The UCLA alum he would be expensive. However, the fit is intriguing enough to explore this option.
The Last Word
While the idea of the Celtics acquiring Holiday is intriguing, it is unlikely.
In order to take on his contract, the Celtics would have to ship out a package along the lines of Malcolm Brogdon, Al Horford, and a role player. Being this close to the 2023-24 season, it does not seem realistic for this trade to happen as it currently stands.
Still, GM Brad Stevens has made shocking moves during this offseason already. Plus, reports have already come out suggesting the team may be interested in Holiday. It is possible that Stevens may have one final trick up his sleeve before training camp kicks off.