It finally happened: NBA star Damian Lillard was finally traded, but not to the Miami Heat or Toronto Raptors. Instead, he was shipped to the Milwaukee Bucks in a 3-team deal that saw them trade an NBA all-star back.
Jrue Holiday won’t suit up for the Blazers; instead, he’ll be shopped, and several teams, including the Philadelphia 76ers, LA Clippers, and even the Miami Heat, are reportedly interested in acquiring Holiday.
Despite that, the Spurs could be a dark horse team to trade for him. After all, they have both the expiring contracts necessary to match salaries as well as a wealth of picks to offer the Blazers.
NBA Trades: The Spurs land Jrue Holiday in a proposed deal with Portland.
Trail Blazers Get
Doug McDermott, Cedi Osman
2024 first (via Charlotte, top 14 protected)
3 second round picks
In the proposed deal, the Spurs would send the Blazers, Doug McDermott, Devonte Graham, and Cedi Osman, as well as Charlotte’s 2024 first and three second-round picks. In return, they would receive Holiday, who would fill a big position of need at point guard for the Spurs. Currently, the Spurs are expected to start Tre Jones at point guard, and while he’s a capable low-end starter, he isn’t Holiday.
Holiday is a far superior defender who can hound opposing point guards that would otherwise give Jones trouble. They’d also have 7’4 Victor Wembanyama as a huge rim protector and Devin Vassell as a talented team defender on the wing, potentially helping San Antonio crack the top 10 on that end of the floor.
As a result, the Spurs could and should pursue Holiday, and it would actually benefit them in more ways than one. Their team has a bit of a roster crunch with 17 players under contract, and a three-for-one trade for a big upgrade at their weakest position makes plenty of sense.
As for the picks, Charlotte’s pick may or may not convey this year but could in 2025, so the Spurs probably aren’t too attached to it with two other first-round picks in next year’s draft. On the other hand, Portland might not get a first-round pick for Holiday since the teams interested are playoff teams that tend to have few firsts to spare.
If they do, the Blazers would likely be forced to take back bad or long-term contracts in a Holiday trade. This hypothetical deal wouldn’t require Portland to do so since McDermott and Osman are on expiring contracts and Graham has only $2.7 million guaranteed for next season. But would either team do the trade?
The Spurs actually wouldn’t be giving up all that much considering that all three players might be traded later next season and they also have plenty of picks. For Portland, turning a player that won’t ever play for your franchise into a first-round pick and two seconds isn’t a bad haul, and it wouldn’t negatively impact them beyond next season. Possible win-win for both teams.