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Why the Jrue Holiday Trade Elevate the Boston Celtics as Championship Favorites

Joe Paige | Sports Editor

Included in the blockbuster trade last week between Milwaukee, Portland, and Phoenix, many wondered if all-star guard Jrue Holiday would remain with the Blazers. Holiday is a 14-year veteran who has played for the Philadelphia 76ers, New Orleans Pelicans, and the Milwaukee Bucks. This Sunday, only days after being traded from Milwaukee to Portland, Holiday will get rerouted to another eastern conference contender.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, The Boston Celtics have traded center Robert Williams III and veteran guard Malcolm Brogdon to Portland Boston’s sending a 2024 first-round pick via Golden State and a 2029 first-round pick to the Blazers as well.

Boston’s decision to move Robert Williams III might cause Celtics fans to hesitate when reacting to the deal, the Celtics center made NBA All-Defensive Second Team just last year. Although he’s been exceptional on the court, he’s had a very difficult time staying healthy for a full season. When he does play, he can be an all-defensive caliber player, but when he’s only played in 37 games, 27 games, and 55 games throughout his career, it’s hard to see the vision. Last year, he got injured very early in the season but would later return to play in the playoffs, but with the lingering injury it was still a day-to-day situation wondering if he was going to play or not. The idea of what Robert Williams III could be has been better than the actuality because he just hasn’t been able to put together a full season yet. This is a solid swing for Boston, as they’ll be getting in return a player in Jrue Holiday, who’s consistently proven to be available throughout the season

The Celtics’ other big splash in free agency would be the acquisition of all-star center Kristaps Porzingis. The Latvian center is coming off the best season of his career with the Washington Wizards as he posted career highs in points per game, assists, field goal percentage, and three-point percentage. Health will always be a concern with Porzingis, as we've seen at the start of his career, but he could just be entering his prime.

Milwaukee and Boston will certainly be in an arms race during the trade deadline as depth seems to be a big concern when evaluating these two eastern conference powerhouses. Even this trade can be viewed as Bostons way to counter Damian Lillard defensively. But players like Derrick White and Al Horford played pivotal roles throughout Boston's finals run just two seasons ago. The newest additions of Holiday and Porzingis no doubt has elevated this team to be placed amongst the top elite teams around the entire association, as they now have one of the strongest starting fives in the league.


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