blockbuster trade for Damian Lillard, establis..."/> blockbuster trade for Damian Lillard, establis..."/>

Jrue Holiday Trade Proves Brad Stevens is Best GM in NBA

Celtics GM Brad Stevens pulled off a blockbuster trade for Jrue Holiday on Sunday: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Celtics GM Brad Stevens pulled off a blockbuster trade for Jrue Holiday on Sunday: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Milwaukee Bucks rocked the sports world this week by pulling off a blockbuster trade for Damian Lillard, establishing themselves as championship favorites for the upcoming NBA season in the process.

Not to be outdone, the Boston Celtics quickly responded on Sunday by pulling off a blockbuster trade of their own on Sunday, acquiring Jrue Holiday from the Portland Trail Blazers just days after the Bucks sent him there.

Celtics Jrue Holiday Trade

In return for Holiday, the Celtics sent point guard Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams III and two draft picks to the Trail Blazers.

While that sounds like a lot, this is exactly the move that Boston needed to keep up in the Eastern Conference after the Lillard trade. Holiday represents a massive upgrade over Brogdon and Marcus Smart, who was traded for Kristaps Porzingis earlier in the offseason.

General manager Brad Stevens has now assembled a starting five of Holiday, Porzingis, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Derrick White, which certainly looks like a championship-caliber lineup on paper. Boston is now tied with Milwaukee for the best odds at DraftKings Sportsbook to win the 2023-24 NBA Finals.

This is just the latest in a series of savvy moves by Stevens, who has done an excellent job turning the Celtics into title contenders since moving up from head coach to GM after the 2020-21 season. Since then, he’s made deals like reacquiring Al Horford, bringing in White and Brogdon, extending Brown, trading for Porzingis and now this.

Few NBA executives are better than Stevens at identifying their teams’ needs and addressing them. Boston made it to the NBA Finals in his first season at the helm and probably would have returned if Tatum hadn’t injured his ankle during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals last spring.

Holiday is one of the best point guards in the NBA. Not only is he an NBA champ, but he’s also a two-time All-Star and has made five straight All-Defensive teams. The 33-year-old is coming off one of the best offensive seasons of his career as well after averaging 19.3 points, 7.4 assists and a personal-best 5.1 rebounds per game.

With Holiday joining Tatum and Brown on the perimeter, one of the best offenses in the NBA just got better thanks to their genius GM. Don’t be surprised if this is the move that finally puts the Celtics over the top and helps them win their first championship since 2008.

Think Boston will go all the way this year? Make sure to bet on it at BetMGM. They’re offering a whopping $200 in bonus bets to new users who sign up through Chowder and Champions’ link and place a first wager of just $10. Best of all, these credits are instant, so you can turn around and place even more wagers right after. This offer won’t last long, though, so claim it now!