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Raptors, Heat, and Celtics Express Interest in Jrue Holiday Following Damian Lillard Trade


The Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat, and Boston Celtics have expressed interest in acquiring Jrue Holiday following his trade to the Portland Trail Blazers as part of the Damian Lillard three-team blockbuster deal.

“Portland is going to be active over the next several days to find a new landing spot, rerouting Jrue Holiday to another team. … Teams like Miami, Toronto, [and] Boston [are pursuing Holiday],” reported The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

During a recent interview, Holiday reiterated that he had no desire to play for any other team. “Would love to,” Holiday said when asked if he would prefer to remain in Milwaukee.

“Before I even won here, I think I said I’m a Buck for life and I mean that like deep in my heart. I don’t want to play for any other team. I think we have a chance to continue to do great things as the Bucks team and organization, so I want to be in Milwaukee. … No, I don’t plan on retiring. I don’t plan on retiring.”

Now, none of that matters after Wednesday’s three-team trade. Along with Holiday, the Trail Blazers received Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara, a 2029 unprotected first-round draft pick, and unprotected Milwaukee swap rights in 2028 and 2030.

Of course, the Phoenix Suns received Jusuf Nurkic, Grayson Allen, Nassir Little, and Keon Johnson. Considering the Suns added Bradley Beal this offseason, the trade works.

As for the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, they face a difficult mission if either contender plans to outbid Toronto.

Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat, and Boston Celtics are seeking to trade for Portland Trail Blazers guard Jrue Holiday after Wednesday’s three-team blockbuster deal
Holiday, 33, was selected 17th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2009 NBA Draft out of UCLA. The five-time All-Defensive member spent his first four seasons (2009-13) with the Sixers and next seven (2013-20) with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Raptors, Heat, and Celtics Express Interest in Jrue Holiday Following Damian Lillard Trade

In November 2020, the Pelicans traded the 6-foot-3 guard to the Bucks.

Last season, Holiday made 65 starts in 67 appearances with Milwaukee. The California native averaged a career-high 19.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 7.4 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.

In the Bucks’ 149-136 win over the Indiana Pacers on March 29, 2023, the guard recorded a career-high 51 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists in 33 minutes as a starter. The UCLA product also shot 20-of-30 (66.7%) from the floor and hit three 3-pointers.

At the end of the 2022-23 regular season, Holiday became the NBA’s all-time leader in blocks for a point guard, with a total of 453. Among active players, the guard ranks 45th overall. He trails centers Serge Ibaka (1,759), Brook Lopez (1,700), DeAndre Jordan (1,524), and others.

A number of centers and forwards rank ahead of Jrue Holiday on the list. However, the only other active guard that comes close to him is ex-Los Angeles Clippers’ John Wall, who ranks 47th with 439 blocks.

Will the Toronto Raptors make a move for Holiday? They can present a more enticing trade proposal to the Trail Blazers than either the Celtics or Heat. That’s the bottom line.

Reports suggested that Toronto had proposed a trade package to Portland earlier this week, including two-time NBA All-Star Pascal Siakam, 2022 NBA Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, and rookie sharpshooter Gradey Dick in exchange for Damian Lillard. To secure Jrue Holiday, the Raptors might consider parting with Barnes and Dick.

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