Jrue Holiday

Report: Celtics eyeing long-term deal with Jrue Holiday after trade

Boston reportedly was very high on Holiday's wish list.

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The Celtics have acquired two All-Star-caliber players this offseason, and they apparently see an extended future for both in Boston.

The Celtics are "are expected to work to sign (Jrue Holiday) to a long-term deal" to retain the veteran guard past this season after reportedly acquiring him in a blockbuster trade with the Portland Trail Blazers, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday.

Boston was among the teams "at the very top" of Holiday's wish list, per Wojnarowski.

Holiday has one year and $36.9 million remaining on his current contract with a $39.4 million player option for the 2024-25 season. Many expect the 33-year-old to decline his player option and become a free agent next summer, so the Celtics would need to offer him a contract extension to keep him in Boston long-term, a tactic they deployed with trade acquisition Kristaps Porzingis earlier this summer by extending him on a two-year, $60 million deal.

Superstar Jayson Tatum is also extension-eligible next offseason, so president of basketball operations Brad Stevens will have to do some cap gymnastics next offseason to build out a roster front-loaded with four stars in Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Holiday and Porzingis. The team did part with about $34.9 million in cap space for next season by trading Malcolm Brogdon and Robert Williams to Portland for Holiday.

That's a future problem for Stevens, however -- and it could be worth the cost. Holiday is an excellent defender who can fill the void left by 2022 Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart while boasting a superior offensive game. He averaged 19.3 points and 7.4 assists per game for the Bucks last season and was the second-best player on the 2020-21 Milwaukee squad that won an NBA championship.

Stevens and the Celtics will be hoping Holiday can deliver a similar result in Boston -- both this season and potentially beyond.

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