The Jrue Holiday trade sweepstakes is among the top NBA storylines with training camps scheduled to open around the league next week.
Holiday was acquired by the Portland Trail Blazers earlier this week as part of the blockbuster trade that sent superstar point guard Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Blazers, as a rebuilding team, reportedly are expected to trade Holiday to a contender and stockpile more assets.
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Where would Holiday prefer to go? Well, according to Anthony Chiang and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, there are several teams that appeal to the veteran point guard, including the Boston Celtics.
"League sources told the Miami Herald on Thursday that the Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers are destinations that appeal to Holiday," Chiang and Jackson wrote. "That’s important because Holiday, 33, can become a free agent next summer with a player option worth $37.4 million in his contract for the 2024-25 season."
The Celtics reportedly are expected to explore the possibility of acquiring Holiday.
Holiday would be a perfect fit for the Celtics. He's one of the best defensive guards in the league and also a capable scorer who averaged 19.3 points per game and shot 38.4 percent from 3-point range last season.
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How motivated might Holiday be to come to the Celtics? Our insider Chris Forsberg gave his take on Thursday's Early Edition.
"The Celtics clearly like the player. They made a pitch for him back when he was a free agent before he ended up in Milwaukee," Forsberg said. "He has the same agent as Jaylen Brown and Al Horford. There's some obvious connection there. His record speaks for itself as an All-Star player who was an All-Defensive guy in recent seasons. So you can understand the fascination.
"The thing I think should motivate them the most -- man, would he love going up against Damian Lillard in a playoff series and being like, 'That's the guy they traded me for?' And I think he would be supremely motivated. We know what he did with Team USA. He has that relationship with the Jays from that experience. So, that's my long-winded way of saying I could see why they would be interested. It just comes down to, do they have enough?"
It would be difficult, but not impossible, to find enough matching salaries for the Celtics to acquire Holiday. Any trade likely would have to include Malcolm Brogdon departing Boston and going to Portland or a third team.
Not only would acquiring Holiday make the Celtics a better team, especially defensively, it would also keep him from going to another championship contender like the Lakers, Heat or 76ers. If there's a real opportunity to get Holiday, the Celtics should absolutely explore all avenues.