After months of patiently waiting for a Damian Lillard trade and expecting him to be dealt to the Heat, Wednesday’s three-team blockbuster came out of nowhere.
The Bucks have now landed Lillard, making them an even more formidable force in the East when they never seemed to even be in the running for Dame. As part of the deal with the Suns and Trail Blazers, Jrue Holiday went to Portland. And now, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has reported, it’s expected the Blazers are “gonna move pretty quickly” with trading Holiday.
Woj says the Clippers, Sixers, and Celtics are among those seriously interested in Jrue Holiday.— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) September 28, 2023
The Blazers are ‘gonna move pretty quickly’ on trading Jrue, adds Woj. pic.twitter.com/PuzIx9ji2v
We’ve known since yesterday that the Sixers have interest in Holiday, and Wojnarowski reiterated today that they’re one of several highly interested teams.
Of course, the Sixers will have tough competition in trading for Holiday (our Sean Kennedy looked at possible trades when considering a potential Jrue return to Philly). But ever since the first hour of the Lillard news breaking, there’s been plenty of noise about how interested the Sixers are.
The Sixers are interested in trying to acquire Jrue Holiday, per a source familiar with their thinking.— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) September 27, 2023
Will obviously be a robust market for him, but Philadelphia expected to see what it'll take to re-route him.
Going to record a quick second pod with @DerekBodnerNBA shortly.
Holiday isn’t a perfect point guard for Philly. For starters, he’s 33 years old now and he’s only under contract for one more season before he has a $39.4 million player option for 2024-25. His hefty $36.86 million salary for next season also means the Sixers would have to trade one of either James Harden or Tobias Harris for him to match salaries.
Daryl Morey managing to ship Harden out for Holiday would be a rather brilliant twist at this stage, although surely a third team would need to get involved rather than the young, rebuilding Blazers wanting to take on Harden. The obvious candidate for that potential third team: Harden’s most likely destination for some time now, the Clippers.
It would be hard for the Sixers to find a better new guard right now. Given Holiday’s solid playmaking, complementary scoring on and off the ball next to Tyrese Maxey, and stellar defense he’d provide to give the Sixers some very welcome size and point-of-attack resistance. Holiday’s fresh off averaging 19.3 points, 7.4 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game last season along with making the All-Defensive First Team.
This is a welcome positive Sixers rumor. Which may not be much, but quite frankly it’s a nice change from stories about whatever drama Harden has been causing this off-season.
Whatever happens with Holiday, it at least sounds like we won’t be kept wondering for too long if Portland is moving quickly.