Celtics ‘Expected to Explore’ Trade for $135 Million Star: Report

Joe Mazzulla

Getty Joe Mazzulla

The Boston Celtics may be on the prowl for another star. After the Milwaukee Bucks traded Jrue Holiday to the Portland Trail Blazers, The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach reported that the Celtics would look into trading for Holiday.

“Not a big surprise, but I’ve been told the Celtics are expected to explore the possibility of trading for Jrue Holiday,” Himmelsbach wrote via his X account on September 27.

After trading Lillard, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Trail Blazers are not expected to keep Lillard as they want to focus on developing their young guards.

“The Blazers remain engaged elsewhere on deals and will are expected to immediately engage contending teams on trade talks to move on Jrue Holiday, sources tell ESPN. Portland is committed to its young group of talented guards,” Wojnarowski wrote via his X account on September 27.

Holiday is slated to make $36.8 million for the 2023-24 season. The Celtics would have to conjure up multiple contracts to make it work, starting with Malcolm Brogdon. Boston has to consider whether it’s worth giving up their depth to get Holiday, but it is worth noting that he would replace much of what they lost when they traded Marcus Smart.

Evan Turner Urges Jrue Holiday to Join Celtics

After the Lillard trade was completed, former Celtic Evan Turner urged the Trail Blazers to buy out Holiday, who was teammates with Turner during their days with the Philadelphia 76ers, so that Holiday could go join the Celtics via his X account.

Turner played with Holiday from 2010 to 2013, shortly before the former joined the Celtics in 2014, so he knows firsthand what Holiday could do for Boston should he join them. Keeping Wojnarowski’s report in mind, Holiday’s likely not getting a buyout knowing what kind of value he could fetch in a trade.

Turner is also more likely than not joking, but he clearly believes Holiday would help the Celtics. Holiday is a two-time NBA All-Star, an NBA champion, and has made the NBA All-Defense team five times in his career. He would not only replace a lot of what Smart brought to the team but also had a better pedigree as a scorer and isn’t as erratic as a decision-maker.

Jrue Holiday is entering the third year of a four-year, $134.9 million contract.

Malcolm Brogdon Was Upset By Near-Trade

On September 27, Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens revealed that Brogdon was upset when the Celtics nearly traded him to the Los Angeles Clippers. However, from how Stevens described it, it sounded like fences have since been mended.

“I would say he had every right to feel (upset),” Stevens told reporters, per The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn. “We said that this summer. But he’s a real pro, and we’ve had several discussions. He’s looking forward to getting started. We’re looking forward to getting started, and here we go.”

If the Celtics’ interest in acquiring Holiday is real, Brogdon is more likely than not going to be included in any deal for him for salary-matching purposes alone. Holiday may be older than Brogdon, but he’s also not as injury-prone and more dependable on defense.

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