When the Portland Trail Blazers traded Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks for a package featuring Jrue Holiday, the expectation was for the star guard to be on the move once again, with contenders lining up to land one of the best perimeter defenders in the league.
Sure enough, on Sunday morning a deal got done to send Holiday back to the East to the Bucks’ top competition in Boston, as the Celtics made a big time offer to bring Holiday in. Boston will send two first round picks along with Robert Williams III and Malcolm Brogdon to Portland in exchange for Holiday, who figures to serve as Marcus Smart’s replacement.
The Celtics are trading Robert Williams, Malcolm Brogdon, 2024 GSW 1st, 2029 unprotected BOS first to the Blazers, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/gx53jyH1RG
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 1, 2023
It’s a big swing from the Celtics, who now add an elite defender to try and deal with Dame and the other top guards in the East. In the process they do give up some frontcourt depth and an excellent rim protector in Williams, although Williams only played 35 games a year ago and durability has been a concern. Adding Holiday gives the Celtics a truly spectacular top six with Holiday, Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, and Kristaps Porzingis, but like the Bucks, they will have some depth questions. Even so, they’ll have plenty of lineup versatility with those six players, capable of playing big or small with tons of switchability throughout the roster on defense and lots of offensive firepower.
For Portland, they bring in two more first round picks, as well as a veteran guard to help provide some leadership for their backcourt and another very good frontcourt player for a robust center rotation along with the newly acquired Deandre Ayton. Williams and Brogdon both, health pending, figure to be movable at the deadline for more assets as they both should have value to other contenders, as the Blazers continue breaking the Dame trade into other potential deals.