Boston Celtics

Stevens explains why Celtics signed Holiday to contract extension

"I've been really impressed with Jrue."

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Jrue Holiday has been an important part of the Boston Celtics' tremendous success so far this season, and the team rewarded him last week with a four-year contract extension worth $135 million.

The C's acquired Holiday in a blockbuster trade with the Portland Trail Blazers last October. Holiday was only available because the Milwaukee Bucks traded him to Portland as part of the deal to acquire superstar guard Damian Lillard.

The Bucks' loss has been the Celtics' gain.

Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens met with reporters Tuesday to recap the regular season and look ahead to the 2024 NBA playoffs.

Stevens explained why the Celtics wanted to extend Holiday and the value he brings on and off the court.

"I think we all can see it. Jrue came here, joined our team and all he tried to do was add to winning," Stevens said. "And for a guy that is as accomplished as he is, that's used to more usage, more reps, more touches and all those other things -- that never even came into play. All that came into play was, 'What kind of a teammate am I being, and can I help us win?'

"And I just think that when you look at the kind of player that he is, what he's capable of on any given night, but also the fact that he can play off the ball and be as effective as he's been, I just think it shows another layer of what a guy can do."

Holiday's leadership and the example he sets for the younger players also is important to Stevens.

"I've been really impressed with Jrue, and I think that as you look at a person like him and you think about the long term of a group, you need really good players and guys who can play on both ends of the court," Stevens said. "But you also want people that the young players can look up to, and he is a person they should look up to and certainly do look up to."

Holiday has sacrificed more than any starter on the Celtics this season. He went from being the No. 2 or No. 3 option on the Bucks to being the No. 4 or No. 5 option most games in Boston.

Despite his usage rate going down this season as a result, Holiday has still been an effective player at both ends of the floor. He averaged 12.5 points, 6.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game, while shooting 48 percent from the floor and 42.9 from 3-point range.

His championship experience from winning the 2021 NBA Finals with the Bucks will be valuable to the Celtics as they begin their pursuit of Banner 18 on Sunday.

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