The Boston Celtics were named a late contender in the Damian Lillard trade sweepstakes this week, but it was the other Eastern Conference favorite that ended up landing Dame.
The Milwaukee Bucks aren’t playing around, and now is not the time for the C’s to be complacent.
Obviously there aren’t any stars on the level of Lillard that are still available to acquire before the season, but here are three trades the Celtics need to pursue to avoid falling behind the Bucks in the East.
Celtics Trade Targets After Lillard Goes to Bucks
1. Jrue Holiday, Portland Trail Blazers
Jrue Holiday went to Portland in the Lillard deal, and the Blazers are expected to move him for more picks. The Celtics’ former rival would be a perfect fit in Boston.
A fiery, competitive guard who can defend just about every position on the court and who opponents’ fans tend to hate. Sound like anyone we used to have on the roster?
Holiday is an elite defender, earning first-team All-Defense honors in three of the last six seasons. He’s also never been a slouch with the ball in his hands, and he averaged 19.3 points and 7.4 assists per game last season even with Giannis handling his usual large share of the facilitation duties. Numbers like that from a top-level defender have always left it a little confusing as to why Holiday doesn’t get more respect on the national level.
That would change in Boston.
Considering the Blazers are focused more on building for the future with picks than anything else, the type of trade package it takes to acquire Holiday would likely be an easy one for the Celtics to handle.
Adding arguably the best defensive guard in the NBA to this lineup would go a long way to making the Celtics a true terror on both ends of the court.