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Boston Celtics Agree to Extension With Major Core Piece

Apr 5, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla works with the team during a timeout during the first half against the Sacramento Kings at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Boston Celtics and guard Jrue Holiday have agreed to a four-year, $135 million contract extension. As Wojnarowski mentions in his social media post, Holiday will decline his $37.3 million player option for the 2024-25 season. This move is meant to save Boston “several million on the cap next year and aids in keeping together a talented and expensive core.”

The Celtics acquired Holiday in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers last October. In his first season with Boston, the one-time NBA champion is averaging 12.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game. Furthermore, he is shooting a career-high 43.1% from beyond the arc this season.

Boston Celtics Agree to Extension With Valuable Anchor

Jrue Holiday’s Impact With the Celtics

Last offseason, Boston traded long-time fan favorite Marcus Smart in a three-way trade for Kristaps Porzingis. Seen as a shocking move at the time, it left many to wonder how the Celtics were going to replace Smart’s defense, tenacity, and hustle. Once Holiday became available, Boston had their answer. After the trade, Celtics GM Brad Stevens talked about wanting Holiday on the team for a long time. Additionally, Stevens made it clear immediately that he wanted Holiday to stay in Boston for the long haul:

“We’ve wanted him here for a long time,” Stevens said. “When the time comes and we’re allowed to talk about those types of things, this is something we hope can be a long-time relationship, obviously, beyond these years of his contract. But we have a few months to go before we can get too deep into that stuff.”

This season, Holiday has done everything asked of him. He has played tremendous basketball at every level of the game. Though his scoring is down, he has been an effective perimeter shooter and playmaker. Furthermore, his defensive impact has been phenomenal. In January, head coach Joe Mazzulla raved about the guard’s defense, saying he “has been one of the best defenders in the league for so long”:

“We play such a unique defense to where there’s a lot of rules, but there’s also a lot of gray area and there’s a lot of opportunity for defensive freedom and playmaking,” Mazzulla said Wednesday on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak & Bertrand” show. “… You have a guy that’s been one of the best defenders in the league for so long, and you wanna take advantage of his strengths, but we also have a defensive system that’s been good for some time, and we want to leverage those strengths.”

What’s Next for Boston After the Jrue Holiday Extension?

With this move, the Celtics have most of their main core under contract for multiple years. And though it’s not official, the Celtics will likely extend star Jayson Tatum to a supermax contract this offseason. However, one key name to keep an eye on now is guard Derrick White. Next season is White’s last under contract. That said, White has been open about wanting to remain in Boston past next season. With Holiday’s extension, there’s hope the Celtics will have the space to sign White for the long term to keep their core together.

With just a few days left, the Celtics are the betting favorites to win the NBA Finals this season. Hopefully for them, this is the year they get over the hump and win their 18th title.


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