As first reported by Kyle Neubeck of PHLY Sports, the Sixers have interest in trading for veteran guard Jrue Holiday, who is being sent to Portland as part of the Damian Lillard blockbuster. Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer confirms Neubeck’s report, and says James Harden — who hopes to land with the Clippers — would be involved in a possible deal.
Holiday spent his first four NBA seasons with the Sixers, who selected him 17th overall back in 2009. According to Pompey’s sources, Philadelphia tried to trade for Holiday multiple times during his seven-year stint with New Orleans from 2013-20.
Moving Harden before Monday’s Media Day and next week’s training camp would avoid a messy situation, and the team has said it wants an All-Star caliber player or draft assets in return for the former MVP. As a five-time All-Defensive member and a two-time All-Star, Holiday fits that bill, Pompey notes.
A three-team deal that sends Harden to the Clippers, Holiday to the Sixers, and a first-round pick from each club to the Trail Blazers seems like it could be a good move for all parties, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who reports that L.A. has thus far only been willing to give up one first-rounder for Harden. Still, as Fischer observes, maybe the Clippers will just end up going after Holiday instead.
The Heat are another Eastern Conference contender who have long valued Holiday, sources tell Fischer. League executives were speculating about Holiday being sent to Miami in the aftermath of the deal, Fischer adds, though it’s worth pointing out that Portland and Miami haven’t had much dialogue this offseason, despite Lillard hoping to land with the Heat.
The Celtics are expected to consider a pursuit of Holiday as well, reports Adam Himmselsbach of The Boston Globe (via Twitter). That’s an interesting, though not surprising rumor — the team has been trying to mend fences with Malcolm Brogdon, who was nearly sent to the Clippers this offseason. Brogdon ($22.5MM) would basically have to be involved in any package for Holiday ($36.86MM) for salary-matching purposes.
If the prolonged Lillard saga is any indication, Portland’s front office could be patient in looking for the best possible return for Holiday, Fischer notes.