The Boston Celtics are still pursuing Jrue Holiday, but it seems they are far from agreeing to a deal. The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach reported on September 30 that while the Celtics are trying to get Holiday from the Portland Trail Blazers, the two sides are far apart on a deal.
“The Celtics’ pursuit of Jrue Holiday remains alive, I’m told. But there’s still a significant gap,” Himmelsbach reported via his X account.
Himmelsbach did not reveal any other details besides that. Holiday is slated to make $36.8 million for the 2023-24 season, so possible hangups may include who the Celtics are willing to send back in exchange for Holiday as well as how many picks the Celtics are willing to offer.
The Celtics have all of their first-rounders (though they have a pick swap with the San Antonio Spurs in 2028) along with the Golden State Warriors first-round pick in 2024 (top-4 protected). They also acquired multiple future second-round picks during the 2023 NBA Draft.
The Trail Blazers have little use for Holiday, so if their plan is to embrace their rebuild, the clock is ticking to get rid of him before media day. This all may come down to who caves first.
Blake Griffin Could Help Celtics Acquire Jrue Holiday
The Celtics could trade Malcolm Brogdon along with either Al Horford or Robert Williams III, but that might be a little too much for Holiday alone. The Athletic’s John Hollinger floated an alternative trade that would help the Celtics keep their current frontcourt intact.
“The Celtics can get to a salary match on Holiday, but it’s complicated,” Hollinger wrote in a September 28 story. “Malcolm Brogdon would be involved, but he makes $22 million in 2025-26, and that’s $22 million more than the Blazers want to take back. Additionally, the second contract in a Boston deal has to be either Robert Williams or Al Horford, which nukes the Celtics’ frontcourt depth … unless they make the salary match Brogdon, Payton Pritchard, Luke Kornet, Sam Hauser, Jordan Walsh and a signed-and-traded Blake Griffin instead. A six-for-one. Whew.”
This has been done before. When the Celtics traded Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets in 2013, Keith Bogans was also included in Boston’s return package via sign-and-trade, and he was given a three-year, $15 million contract (only one year was guaranteed). That was money he had never received before, but doing so made the trade work as far as salary matching goes.
The Celtics could do something similar with Griffin, but both he and the Trail Blazers would have to agree to it.
Celtics, Clippers Considered Frontrunners for Jrue Holiday
“Without including (Tyrese) Maxey, the Sixers would be faced with an uphill battle as the Blazers consider offers from a number of teams around the league, with the Celtics and Clippers among the frontrunners for Holiday’s services. One source described trade talks as ‘very competitive’ with a handful of contenders and even fringe playoff teams looking to get in the mix,” Neubeck wrote.
All indications are that the Celtics’ interest in Jrue Holiday is quite serious. It’s all a matter of if they can agree to a trade that would help all sides.