Brad Stevens and the Celtics completed a blockbuster deal for All-Star guard Jrue Holiday last weekend, even at the cost of giving up Rob Williams, Malcolm Brogdon and two first-round picks.
But this isn’t the first time Boston has expressed interest in adding the coveted defensive guard.
Kevin O’Connor from The Ringer reported in 2020 that Boston was interested in snatching Holiday from the Pelicans before he ultimately landed in Milwaukee.
At that time, Brad Stevens was entrenched on the sidelines as Boston’s head coach, while Danny Ainge still held the reins as the Celtics’ highest-ranking basketball executive.
A lot has changed since then, with Stevens heading up the Celtics’ basketball operations and Ainge taking on a new role as CEO of the Utah Jazz.
But it is clear that Ainge’s interest in acquiring Holiday has not diminished since.
During the latest episode of the Lowe Post Podcast, ESPN’s Zach Lowe detailed the various suitors who called the Trail Blazers about Holiday before Stevens and the Celtics intervened.
It’s no surprise that other suitors like the Heat and Clippers have submitted offers to Portland, as previously reported.
But according to Lowe, Ainge and the Jazz also made a concerted effort to try to trade for Holiday, but they were outbid by Stevens.
“Utah was one of them,” Lowe said. “I’m not sure they were on Jrue Holiday’s final, final roster, because they’re just not going to be good enough, and I like Utah to be in it because Utah has so many choices from so many different places that they have the luxury of saying, you know what – if we find a really good player and a really good role model for our young guys who also clarifies what is a sort of cluster – you know what – random guards all come together and do it. there’s a lot left – why not, why not? Because we don’t necessarily need to tank as hard as other rebuilding teams.
Lowe added that the Pacers and Knicks also went all-in on a potential holiday trade, but few teams could match the offer ultimately made by Stevens and the Celtics.
“There’s a list of guys in the league that you always think you never had a real chance of getting that you think are perfect,” Stevens said at Celtics media day, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN. “And Jrue is one of those guys.”
Stevens added: “You have to pay a good price for things, right? This is how it happens. We’re trying to win a championship. This speaks to our owners’ willingness to spend whatever it takes and our desire to be the best team we can be.
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