The NBA was rocked on Wednesday through a blockbuster three-team trade that saw Damian Lillard head to the Milwaukee Bucks, with the Phoenix Suns also involved ahead of their season opener against the Golden State Warriors on October 24.
Phoenix sent starting center Deandre Ayton to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Jusuf Nurkic, Nassir Little and Keon Johnson, along with Grayson Allen from the Bucks. Portland’s haul for their franchise legend included Ayton, Jrue Holiday, Toumani Camara, and future draft assets from Milwaukee.
The Golden State Warriors have been suggested as a new home for Jrue Holiday, with the Portland Trail Blazers expected to on-trade the two-way guard.
With the Trail Blazers building around number three overall pick Scoot Henderson and exciting second-year wing Shaedon Sharpe, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the franchise “are expected to immediately engage contending teams on trade talks to move on Holiday”.
Holiday’s versatility on both ends of the floor will make him a valuable commodity across the league, with the 33-year-old long recognized as one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA.
The two-time All-Star is also a highly effective offensive weapon, possessing the capacity to play on the ball as a scorer and facilitator, while equally proving an off-ball threat having shot at least 38.4% from three-point range in each of the last three seasons.
A pivotal member of Milwaukee’s 2021 NBA championship, Holiday averaged 19.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 7.4 assists across 67 games in 2022-23. Discussing potential new homes for the 14-year veteran, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps suggested the Warriors as a destination.
"“How about the Golden State Warriors? I’d be calling left and right if I were Mike Dunleavy Jr…They’ve got Jonathan Kuminga, they got Moses Moody, they’ve got future draft picks, and they’ve got a giant expiring salary”, Bontemps said during Wednesday’s episode of ‘The Hoop Collective’ podcast."
While the Warriors could get into the Holiday conversation, it would be a huge shift given their public commitment to veteran point-guard Chris Paul whom they acquired earlier in the offseason.
Holiday would undoubtedly be an upgrade on the 38-year-old Paul, particularly given his versatility on both ends that would likely be a better fit alongside the backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
It would then be a question of what further assets the Warriors would need to add to appease the Trail Blazers and General Manager Joe Cronin. Holiday makes $35 million this season, with a $37.4 million player option for 2024-25.
Although the thought of flipping Paul and young assets for another guard may cause hesitation among Warrior fans, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst seemed exuberant in response to Bontemps, stating, “I didn’t even think about it…I like it! I like it!”