Jrue Holiday Rumors: Heat, Pacers, Knicks, Celtics, More

The Lakers, Clippers, Heat, Celtics, Bulls and Sixers are among the teams Jrue Holiday would be interested in joining, a league source tells Anthony Chiang and Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

That said, unless the Trail Blazers are willing to hold onto Holiday for at least a few months, you can scratch the Lakers from the list of possible suitors. They obviously aren’t trading LeBron James for Holiday, and the other players they could theoretically use to match salaries aren’t trade-eligible until December or January.

The Blazers are expected to prioritize young players and draft assets in exchange for Holiday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on NBA Today (YouTube link).

Holiday is expected to draw interest from a variety of teams, sources tell ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Insider link). The Heat could be among that group, but Portland “had no major interest in any individual Miami player or draft asset, and limited interest in whatever combination Miami might cobble” during negotiations for Damian Lillard, Lowe reports.

According to Chiang and Jackson, the Heat haven’t ruled out making an aggressive push for Holiday, but they didn’t do it immediately on Thursday. Miami isn’t expected to pursue James Harden, and has yet to express interest in Pacers sharpshooter Buddy Hield, who is reportedly on the trading block after failing to reach an extension, a source tells Chiang and Jackson. Free agent guard Goran Dragic is interested in returning to the Heat, but that interest doesn’t appear to be mutual, per The Herald’s duo.

Sources tell Lowe the Pacers and Knicks are expected to have a level of interest in Holiday, though it’s unclear how seriously they’ll pursue the defensive stalwart. While Lowe believes Holiday could be a good fit with both clubs, he wonders if Indiana will decide it’s too early to make a win-now move.

Boston was previously cited as a possible suitor, but multiple sources tell Brian Robb of MassLive that the Celtics will likely be outbid and aren’t expected to land Holiday. Still, the team has long been interested in the veteran guard — Boston tried to acquire Holiday a few years ago before he was traded to Milwaukee, a source tells Robb.

Here are a few more notes related to Holiday, who was sent to the Blazers from the Bucks as part of yesterday’s Lillard blockbuster:

  • Bucks star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t have a direct impact on the Lillard deal, Wojnarowski noted in the same segment. “Directly, (Antetokounmpo) literally played no role,” Wojnarowski said. “In fact, (GM) Jon Horst did not bring this trade idea or sign off on it to Giannis Antetokounmpo because Jrue Holiday was involved. And the relationship there and the reverence that this organization and these players have for Holiday. He did not want to put that to Giannis Antetokounmpo and have him have that on his conscience necessarily that he might sign off or not sign off on it.” However, as Wojnarowski observes, Antetokounmpo putting pressure on the organization by saying winning more championships was the most important thing in his career certainly played a significant indirect factor in Milwaukee trading for Lillard.
  • In addition to the previously mentioned teams that might pursue Holiday, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (Insider link) believes the Pelicans, Kings and Warriors would also benefit from the All-Star guard’s services. Over at The Athletic, John Hollinger lists the Heat, Clippers and Celtics as logical destinations for Holiday.
  • Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star considers the pros and cons of the Pacers pursuing Holiday. As Dopirak writes, head coach Rick Carlisle heaped praise on the five-time All-Defensive member during the 2022/23 season. “I’d like to somebody to name five other basketball players that are better than Jrue Holiday at the entire game,” Carlisle said. “Guy’s an amazing player, both sides of the ball. His scoring tonight was at another level obviously, but defensively, he can guard anybody. Just a nod of respect to him. He’s a guy that too often is overlooked as a truly, truly great player.” Still, Dopirak thinks it’s probably too early for Indiana to go after a 33-year-old veteran like Holiday, who can be a free agent in 2024 if he declines his player option.
View Comments (50)