Bring in the patio furniture and tape the windows. The Celtics are loaded for bear.
Just before the start of Week 4 of the NFL season yesterday, football at least temporarily went poof. News broke that the Celtics had acquired guard Jrue Holiday from the Portland Trail Blazers for a package including guard Malcolm Brogdon, center Robert Williams III, and a pair of first-round draft picks (in 2024 and 2029).
Just like the Milwaukee Bucks’ acquisition of Damian Lillard created a ripple effect that sent Holiday to Boston, as surefire a sign as any that the NBA Eastern Conference is now officially an arms race.
Lillard, remember, wouldn’t come to Boston.
Thankfully, Holiday would – and with a chip undoubtedly resting on his shoulder after helping the Bucks win the 2021 NBA title.
Translation: This is going to get good.
Now, let’s make something clear here: if and when Milwaukee and Boston meet in the playoffs – and let’s hope they do – Milwaukee will have two of three best players in the series in Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo. But the Celtics might very well have the next three in Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porzingis and, now, Holiday.
Last week, immediately after the Lillard trade, Milwaukee became the odds-on favorite to win the NBA title. Yesterday, our friends at the DraftKings Sportsbook had the Celtics and Bucks tied atop the list of all NBA contenders. In between now and then, chances are those odds will fluctuate – especially during the NBA trade deadline and buyout window.
Does that make this deal a slam dunk for the Celtics? Not necessarily. There are pluses and minuses to every deal, which we’ll explore briefly here.
But make no mistake.
Boston is going all in on the 2023-24 season. Yes, the Celtics are loaded.