The offseason has been nothing short of eventful so far for the Boston Celtics, but questions still loom large regarding the guard positions for the 2023-24 season. Would a Jrue Holiday acquisition answer those questions, whilst simultaneously negating the need for Jayson Tatum to play a guard role next season?
Why ‘Point Tatum’ may not be the solution for the Boston Celtics
Tatum has undoubtedly showcased his capabilities as a ball-handler and playmaker, proving that he has the ability to take on the role of the facilitator for the Celtics. Chris Forsberg from NBC Boston took a look at the stats earlier in September:
“Last season, Tatum spent 416 minutes on the court with neither Smart, Malcolm Brogdon, nor Payton Pritchard on the floor. Boston posted a +16.3 net rating with a 123.3 offensive rating in that span, per PBP Stats,” Forsberg stated, proving Tatum’s ability to be the primary ball-handler through those numbers.
Even though the stats may indicate this could be a viable solution, his wrist injury, as well as his choice to not get surgery this summer, may hinder the chances of “Point Tatum” being the long-term solution.
Could Jrue Holiday negate the need for Jayson Tatum to make Boston Celtics positional change?
Last season Tatum averaged a career-high 30.1 PPG, 8.8 RPG, and 4.6 APG with a shooting proficiency of 46.6% from the field and 35% from beyond the arc, planting his name in most MVP conversations. This then raises the question; With Tatum excelling at such a high level, do we want to see him take on a new role? If the Boston Celtics do trade for Holiday, the need for Tatum to change his role may be a thing of the past.
The acquisition of the All-Star may require either White or the disgruntled Brogdon to be used as one of the trade pieces, primarily due to their contracts, with the latter appearing the be the most likely option. If the Celtics do pull the trigger on this trade, Bostons’ backcourt would feature Holiday and Brown as starters, leaving the remaining White/Brogdon with a bench role.
Some sources say that the trade between Boston and Portland “remains alive” but there appears to be “a significant gap.”
At 33 years old, Holiday has consistently demonstrated his defensive and offensive prowess over the years. Last season he maintained an impressive average of 19.3 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 7.4 APG, and 1.2 SPG, earning him his second All-Star appearance. Another question then arises; Taking his age into consideration, is Holiday an upgrade over White and Brogdon? Statistically, yes.
- Whites 2022-23 stats; 12.4 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 3.9 APG, and 0.7 SPG.
- Brogons 2022-23 stats; 14.9 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 3.7 APG, and 0.7 SPG.
When looking at the stats, it becomes evident that Holiday’s defensive prowess, illustrated by his impressive 1.2 steals per game, would make him a great addition to the stellar defensive talent that Boston already possesses. In addition to that, his 7.4 assists per game underline his capability to orchestrate the offense and handle the playmaking duties. The acquisition of Holiday could potentially negate the need for Jayson Tatum to transition from his natural wing position to that of a facilitating guard.
Will we see Jrue Holiday repping the infamous Boston Green next season? Will Tatum make the switch to primary ball-handler, becoming “Point Tatum”? Only time will tell and, like all Celtics fans, I’ll be closely monitoring the Holiday situation to see how it concludes.