Celtics Urged to Keep $135 Million Star, Champion

Brad Stevens

Getty Brad Stevens

The Boston Celtics have some decisions to make going forward. Chief among them is what to do with Jrue Holiday. Holiday has a player option for $37.4 million, but the Celtics can extend him. Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale explained why extending Holiday should be Boston’s main priority.

“The Celtics should be uniquely motivated to get an agreement done,” Favale wrote in a March 21 story. “For one thing, they don’t have the financial flexibility to begin replacing the 33-year-old if he declines his $40.2 million player option and leaves in free agency.”

Favale explained why it’s imperative that the Celtics get him at an affordable price.

“Equally important: Extending him on a deal that gets him to decline the option and sign for a smaller annual number over the longer term softens next season’s second-apron intractability.

“This can seem like a small thing on its face. Does it really matter if Holiday shaves $10 million or so off his average annual value when that won’t allow Boston to duck the second apron?

“Next season? Not so much. But having his number beyond this year locked in lets the front office plan around a concrete cap sheet. There’s value in that—and even more value in simply guaranteeing Holiday stays put.”

Holiday has made the All-Star team twice in his career – 2013 and 2023 – and won a title with the Milwaukee Bucks. As Favale wrote, the Celtics won’t be able to replace him if he leaves.

Jrue Holiday Confided in Ex-Celtic Before Trade

The Bucks traded Holiday to the Portland Trail Blazers before they traded him to the Celtics. Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups revealed to The Athletic’s Jay King what he and Holiday discussed before Portland traded the latter to Boston.

“I had a conversation — a long, good conversation with him — just about I know it was a little tough spot for him, being traded, kind of being blindsided by that,” Billups told King in a March 12 story. “I’ve been there before. So just being able to rap with him like that because I know him. And it was important for me that a good person like him, who’s been great on every team and every community that he’s lived in, for him to be treated properly and be put in a great position and a great spot.”

Holiday talked about what his conversation with Billups meant to him.

“It meant a lot,” Holiday told King. “Being able to see a coach that has my best interests (in mind). And you could see it, and you could hear it, which a lot of times, maybe some players don’t get a chance to see that from a coach. So he definitely had my best interest (at heart) from the beginning. And he just always looked out for me.”

Jrue Holiday Will Not Play vs. Pistons

Holiday missed the Celtics game against the Bucks on March 20. It appears he won’t be around for their next game against the Pistons. The Celtics’ official X account confirmed that Holiday won’t play.

The Celtics have an 11-game lead for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, so they can afford Holiday’s absence.

Read More