Jrue Holiday officially has a new home.
After he was sent to the Trail Blazers as the centerpiece of the deal that moved Damian Lillard to the Bucks, Holiday is now being rerouted to another Eastern Conference contender in the Celtics.
With Holiday in tow, the Celtics now have an All-Star trio that also features Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Holiday now finds himself on the other side of Boston’s growing rivalry with his former team in Milwaukee.
Did the Celtics give up too much in order to acquire the All-Star? Are the Trail Blazers rebuilding the correct way? What does it all mean moving forward? Here’s how each team grades out.
MORE: Full details of blockbuster trade sending Jrue Holiday to Celtics
Jrue Holiday trade details
Trail Blazers receive:
- Malcolm Brogdon
- Robert Williams III
- 2024 first-round pick (via Warriors)
- 2029 first-round pick
Celtics grade: A-
Clearly, this deal is Boston’s direct response to Milwaukee’s acquisition of Lillard. In acquiring Holiday, the Celtics keep up with the Bucks and set up a crash course for the two teams to meet in the Eastern Conference Finals.
With the number of variables in an 82-game season, it is far from a given that the two teams will meet late in the playoffs, but they’ll be the favorites to do so. Boston executes a deal that keeps the franchise in line to remain in the tier of being a title contender.
Holiday is coming off a season in which he averaged 19.3 points, 7.4 assists and 5.1 rebounds, earning the second All-Star selection of his career as well as a selection to the All-Defensive First Team. While he is 33, Holiday is clearly still one of the league’s premier perimeter defenders and immediately becomes Boston’s best playmaker.
The Celtics can be downright scary defensively and essentially have six starters with a rotation of Holiday, Brown, Tatum, Derrick White, Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford. Depending on the matchup, Boston can opt for a smaller, perimeter-heavy lineup or a two-big lineup that features Horford and Porzingis in the frontcourt.
Talented as Boston’s top six now is, the team did sacrifice depth in order to facilitate the deal, parting ways with the reigning Sixth Man of the Year in Brogdon and Williams, who unlocked the Celtics’ defense with his rim protection.
That said, both Brogdon and Williams have had their fair share of injury woes throughout their respective careers and Boston takes a calculated risk by parting ways with the duo in order to add a third All-Star. As for the draft capital, the Celtics move just one of their own picks and it falls more than five years down the line.
The only thing keeping this deal from being an A are the questions surrounding Boston’s depth as well as the locker room morale after an offseason in which the franchise parted ways with two key members of the culture in Williams and Marcus Smart.
Trail Blazers grade: A
The Trail Blazers are in full rebuild mode. This deal should be viewed as an extension of the Lillard trade and an indicator that Portland may not be done dealing yet.
Brogdon, who will turn 31 in December, does not fit Portland’s developmental timeline and could again be traded. There is certainly a market for Brogdon as he averaged 14.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting a career-high 44.4 percent from deep on over four attempts per game last season.
Portland is now in a position to field offers for Brogdon, who could net more young talent and draft capital.
Williams will be 26 on opening night and technically is a better fit for the Blazers’ development timeline. That said, Williams gives Portland flexibility whether or not it decides to hold on to him or seek another trade.
In a matter of days, the Blazers have acquired a former No. 1 overall pick in Deandre Ayton, a talented rookie in Toumani Camara, Brogdon, Williams, three draft picks and the right to swap two more.
For a team focused on building for the future, the Blazers are doing all the right things.