NESN's Gio Rivera believes the Milwaukee Bucks didn't properly value Jrue Holiday's defensive impact when they traded him for Damian Lillard in the offseason, and that has put the Bucks behind the 8-ball trying to catch up to the Boston Celtics in 2023-24.
"In search of appeasing Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee inadvertently did the opposite of what the front office hoped to accomplish and created even more cause for concern," Rivera wrote. "There’s been no other team in the league as talented on one end of the floor, but completely incompetent on the other.
"That doesn’t mean Antetokounmpo will hop back on the first microphone he finds and vow to leave Milwaukee right away — or maybe it does. But it does show that the Bucks didn’t accurately value Holiday’s defensive impact and utterly failed at restoring it to supplement the team’s flashy tandem of Antetokounmpo and Lillard."
Magic Johnson blames Bucks giving up Jrue Holiday for why Milwaukee's behind Boston Celtics
Magic Johnson spoke out on the night Adrian Griffin was let go to absolve him of the Bucks' failures; blaming Milwaukee letting Holiday go in the offseason as the culprit instead.
"I think the Bucks firing former Head Coach Adrian Griffin was a big mistake," Johnson tweeted. "It’s not his fault the Bucks traded their best on-ball defender, Jrue Holiday. They are not a good defensive team and are all-around too slow."
Magic thinks the Bucks are among a handful of east teams that should be making moves to catch up to the Celtics.
"Outside of the Boston Celtics, multiple teams in the East need to make a trade before the deadline including the Bucks, 76ers, Knicks, Cavaliers, and the Hawks," Johnson said.
As the Celtics weigh their options ahead of the February 8 deadline, they can take solace in the fact that they've already made their biggest moves -- and some of their opponents have already made damning mistakes.