The Celtics reportedly are interested in acquiring Jrue Holiday from the Portland Trail Blazers, but would Holiday be interested in playing for Boston?
On paper, Holiday seems like the perfect fit for the Celtics backcourt. The five-time All-Defensive selection would fill the void left by former NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, who was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies in June. He'd also be an offensive upgrade.
Would Holiday see Boston as a fit? Our Chris Forsberg shared his take on whether there would be mutual interest.
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"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 on Thursday's Early Edition. "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?"
Holiday has a $36.8 million cap hit for the 2023-24 season, so the Celtics likely would have to send Portland a package that includes Malcolm Brogdon ($22.5 million) and either Robert Williams ($11.5 million) or Al Horford ($10 million) to match salary. Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix warned of a steep asking price for the 33-year-old that may also require a first-round pick and/or another depth piece.
"These are hard decisions you have to think about," Forsberg added. "John Hollinger of The Athletic did come up with one scenario where if you sign and trade Blake Griffin as part of like a six-player deal, you could potentially get there without trading Rob or Al. That especially intrigues me, but there's a lot of little hurdles in there.
"Ultimately it comes down to, what do the Blazers want? Are they willing to take on Brogdon's money? Are they willing to take the Celtics' picks, which should be 28th, 29th, 30th along the way? So, there's a lot of obstacles. But these are the conversations you have to have, because windows in the NBA are never open as long as you think."
Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens has plenty to think about ahead of training camp, which is set to begin early next week. Another factor in his decision may be the opportunity to keep Holiday from landing with another Eastern Conference rival. The Philadelphia 76ers have also reportedly expressed interest in trading for Holiday, and Mannix added the Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat to the list of potential suitors.
You can watch the full discussion on Early Edition below: