Celtics land the last big fish in the last-minute trade market
Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics have made a major move just before the start of the season.
As first dropped by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, in a true “Woj Bomb,” the Celtics are acquiring point guard Jrue Holiday from the Portland Trail Blazers. Boston is sending big man Robert Williams III, point guard Malcolm Brogdon, a 2024 first-round pick originally from the Golden State Warriors, and a 2029 unprotected first-round pick from the Celtics.
Holiday, 33, is a two-time All-Star coming off a season in which he averaged 19.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 1.2 steals, and 47.9 shooting from the field as a starter for the Milwakuee Bucks. He had previously been traded to the Blazers in a package for guard Damian Lillard, a move that positioned the Bucks as a top contender in the Eastern Conference, if not the favorite to make the NBA Finals.
Stevens also traded longtime Celtics point guard Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies in a three-team deal that brought big man Kristaps Porzingis to Boston from the Washington Wizards. The addition of Holiday gives the C’s a projected starting five of Holiday, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Porzingis, and Al Horford. That group can stack up against any other starting five in the league.
The collective trades do not come without risk and potential downsides. Horford is 37 years old, and the oft-injured Porzingis dealt with plantar fasciitis in the off-season. Luke Kornet is the only other traditional big on the roster after them.
Stevens may not be done making last-minute moves before the start of the 2023-24 season, which is still 24 days away on Oct. 25. The Celtics president of basketball ops still has plenty of time to find a potential deal to add frontcourt depth, and they will almost certainly need it at some point.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Check out all of Matt’s content here.