Celtics fans will love NBA execs’ reactions to Jrue Holiday trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Milwaukee Bucks briefly leap-frogged the Boston Celtics as NBA championship favorites last week by acquiring seven-time All-Star Damian Lillard. But the fallout of that trade proved fruitful for the Celtics, who swooped in to land elite two-way guard Jrue Holiday from the Trail Blazers after Milwaukee dealt him to Portland for Lillard.
Holiday’s addition gives Boston arguably the best top six in the NBA in Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porzingis, Holiday, Derrick White and Al Horford — and you could make the case that the C’s are once again the team to beat in the Eastern Conference.
According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, a few NBA front office executives were far from thrilled to see Holiday land in Boston.
“I got texts from a couple of non-partisan front office executives … that were in the vein of, ‘This is what I worried about for the Bucks when they made the Lillard trade: that Boston would come in and get Jrue Holiday, and that the Bucks … may have inadvertently helped their biggest rival more than they realized they did — and maybe more than they helped themselves,'” Lowe said Monday on “The Lowe Post” podcast.
While Lowe doesn’t necessarily agree with the take that the Bucks aided the Celtics more than they improved their own roster by parting with Holiday to land Lillard, he did hear directly from execs on East contenders who viewed Holiday-to-Boston as a game-changer.
“I heard from a couple of front office executives from good Eastern Conference teams, and the texts that I received in the immediate wake of the trade were two and three words long, to the tone of, ‘Well f— us,’ or ‘Oof, this sucks.'”
We wouldn’t be surprised if one of those execs works for the Philadelphia 76ers, who reportedly were interested in Holiday but instead saw two of their direct competitors in the East bolster their rosters while they stood pat. (Perhaps that explains this Joel Embiid post on X.)
Championships aren’t won on paper, of course, and it remains to be seen how Holiday and Porzingis will assimilate on a roster that lost a significant chunk of its 2022-23 core in Marcus Smart, Robert Williams, Grant Williams and Malcolm Brogdon this offseason.
But the sour reactions of these execs tells you all you need to know: that Holiday is an excellent fit in Boston, and could play a key role in the Celtics’ quest to raise Banner 18.
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