A proposed trade from NBA Analysis Network would answer the point guard question many non-Boston Celtics viewers may have in the wake of Marcus Smart’s departure/Kristaps Porzingis’ arrival. The deal would bring a championship point guard Jrue Holiday, though at a price that can only be considered an overpay: Derrick White, Al Horford, Payton Pritchard, and a 2029 first-round pick swap.
Alongside soon-to-be Supermax-extended Jayson Tatum, recently-Supermax-extended Jaylen Brown, and marquee offseason addition Kristaps Porzingis, Holiday should work — this, at least, according to NBA Analysis Network’s James Piercey.
“Holiday is one of the best defensive guards in the NBA,” Piercey prefaced before saying, “His only competition for that distinction is Alex Caruso and Marcus Smart. Meanwhile, he clears each as an offensive player. He clears White in that regard as well. Holiday can create his own shot in half-court sets, and he’s a solid playmaker as well. Sure, his shooting is inconsistent. The Celtics, compared to the Bucks, can live with that. They’re built around more shooting between Tatum, Brown and Kristaps Porzingis. This should work.”
Pros and cons of the Boston Celtics trading for Jrue Holiday
The one obvious pro about going all in for Holiday is the cap relief created down the line for the Celtics. White is a free agent in 2025 as well, but unlike Holiday, White should get his career’s biggest payday on his next deal. Pritchard is a restricted free agent in the 2024 offseason, so his raise would be more imminent. Holiday was just an All-Defensive First Team guard during the 2022-23 season, so he’d fill much of the void Smart left behind in his move to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Cons-wise, this deal destroys the team’s depth and forces Joe Mazzulla to heavily rely on reserves to prop up a lineup that’s now dedicating significant cap space to a 33-year-old guard whose game has required elite athleticism to be an All-Star-caliber talent.
Boston is better off sticking to the status quo for now and seeing if the pieces fit; perhaps revisiting this concept down the line if things aren’t working like Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens envisioned they would.