The Celtics have emerged as a potential destination for New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.
Holiday, a 6-foot-4-inch versatile and seasoned combo guard – whose peers in 2019 picked him as the league’s most underrated player – has come up often in trade talks this offseason. Now, the Celtics have established themselves as a contender to land Holiday, who averaged 19.1 points, 6.7 assists, and 3.8 rebounds last season and was an All-Defensive first-team selection in 2017-18.
O’Connor reported Thursday that the Celtics could package their three first-round picks – Nos. 14, 26, and 30 – to move into the lottery and flip the pick to New Orleans. He said the Celtics have offered up those picks in trades to try to move into the lottery, but now they hope to “reroute that pick” to the Pelicans.
The Atlanta Hawks, according to O’Connor, have had trade conversations with both the Pelicans, for Holiday, and the Celtics, for the three picks in exchange for the No. 6 overall selection. It won’t be easy to iron out logistically, but it is possible, O’Connor indicated.
“If Boston is able to acquire the necessary assets, it’d still need to add salaries to make a deal work,” O’Connor wrote. ” … No matter the case, the Celtics are up to something big to try and bolster their title odds.”
Brian Robb, of Boston Sports Journal, pointed out that Holiday makes $26.1 million, so if the Celtics want to trade for him, the deal would have to include one of Gordon Hayward, Kemba Walker, or Marcus Smart for salary-matching purposes. He added that Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are “off the table” in trade talks.
“I’ll say this,” Robb tweeted. “If Celtics are considering moving all three first round picks (plus a core piece) in a multi-team deal for Jrue Holiday, C’s are going to need to get more back than just Holiday for it to be worth that kind of package.”
He then noted that the Pelicans have several other trade chips that could be available in a deal, including JJ Redick, Josh Hart, and Derrick Favors (free agent via sign-and-trade).
A potential lineup of Holiday, Smart, Brown, Tatum, and Daniel Theis would have a strong chance to emerge as a defensive juggernaut.
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