With the $6.9 million Juancho Hernangomez trade exception and the $5.9 million Dennis Schroder trade exception at their behest, and with three roster spots available for the taking, the Boston Celtics could potentially add another rotation player or two who could give them more depth. That can come in the form of a wing, guard, or big. If the Celtics look to use one of those exceptions on a wing, one option they could target is Justin Holiday.
A Western Conference assistant coach recently explained to Heavy’s Sean Deveney why Holiday would be someone the Celtics would want on their team.
“He’s the ideal veteran guy, really good defender, smart player, can handle the ball a little. Knocks down 3s usually. He is an above-average shot-maker which is what you’re looking for from a defensive guy.”
During the 2021-22 season, Holiday split time between the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings. On the season, he averaged 10.1 points and 2.6 rebounds while shooting 39.4 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from three.
It’s for that same reason that it would be hard to see why his current team, the Atlanta Hawks, would trade him to a conference rival like the Celtics.
Holiday Trade is Not Likely
While Holiday is a veteran wing with almost a decade of NBA experience to his name whose $6.1 million contract could be absorbed into the Juancho Hernangomez TPE, it’s because of his experience and skillset that makes it hard for the Western Conference assistant coach to believe the Hawks would trade him to the Celtics.
“That’s why the Hawks wanted him, right? So it is hard to imagine that they will want to move him unless their whole season goes South. If they do trade him, they’d probably want something in return.”
This summer, the Hawks acquired Holiday among others when they traded Kevin Huerter to the Sacramento Kings. They also acquired Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs while he was fresh off his first NBA All-Star game appearance. That trade signified that they probably won’t be selling off their guys unless something goes haywire.
Another reason they probably would prefer to keep Holiday is that he has an NBA title to his name.
Holiday’s Playoff Experience
In his second NBA season, Holiday won an NBA Championship with the Golden State Warriors during the 2014-15 season. Although, Holiday barely played for that team.
In the five total games Holiday played for the Warriors during the 2015 playoffs, he averaged 0.6 points, 0.2 assists, and 0.2 rebounds in 2.2 minutes a game.
Besides his lone title season with the Warriors, Holiday has only made the playoffs one other time in his career, which was in 2020 with the Pacers. Holiday had a much bigger role with that Pacers team than he did with the Warriors five years prior, though he only played in four games as they were swept by the Miami Heat in the first round.
So Holiday has proven he can thrive in a bigger role in the playoffs. As long as that role isn’t too big.