John Karalis on Jrue Holiday trade: A strategic move to bolster championship chances for Celtics
The Celtics made a significant trade just before the start of the upcoming NBA season. They are acquiring point guard Jrue Holiday from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for big man Robert Williams III, point guard Malcolm Brogdon, a 2024 first-round pick from the Golden State Warriors, and a 2029 unprotected first-round pick from the Celtics.
John Karalis, who covers the Boston Celtics for Boston Sports Journal, expresses surprise at the Celtics giving up Robert Williams during his interview on this morning’s Toucher & Rich radio program. Karalis suggests that the trade was driven by the need to respond to Milwaukee’s moves and prevent other teams like Philly and Miami from acquiring Holiday, streamlining their path to the NBA finals.
“I think this was as much about answering what Milwaukee did and keeping Holiday away from Philly and Miami and other potential roadblocks rather than fighting two or three battles to get to the NBA finals. You keep him away from some of these other teams and you load up two to fight the main battle to get to the NBA finals.”
Karalis also explains that due to the new collective bargaining agreement’s punitive measures for expensive teams, many are going all-in for this season before the new rules take effect in the following year. It’s a window of opportunity for teams like the Celtics, and they’re focusing on the present rather than worrying about future decisions.
Holiday, a two-time All-Star, is known for his impressive performance, averaging 19.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 7.4 assists, and 47.9 percent shooting from the field during his time with the Milwaukee Bucks. He was part of the trade package that brought Damian Lillard to the Blazers, solidifying the Bucks as a top contender in the Eastern Conference.
In addition to this trade, Stevens also sent Marcus Smart, a longtime Celtics point guard, to the Memphis Grizzlies in a three-team deal that brought big man Kristaps Porzingis to Boston from the Washington Wizards. With these moves, the Celtics now have a projected starting lineup consisting of Holiday, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Porzingis, and Al Horford, which is seen as a formidable starting five.
Karalis also believes the Celtics might not be done yet.
Nick Gemelli is a Producer for the Toucher and Rich program and contributor for 985thesportshub.com. you can follow Nick at @NickGemelli on Twitter.