C’s should ‘absolutely’ call Blazers about Holiday

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Scalabrine: C’s should ‘absolutely’ call Blazers about Holiday originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

NBA fans are waiting for the other shoe to drop following the massive three-way trade that sent Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

The Portland Trail Blazers acquired Jrue Holiday as part of the deal, but they reportedly are expected to “immediately” engage contending teams on trade talks involving the five-time All-Defensive guard. The Philadelphia 76ers have been rumored to be a team to watch in the Holiday sweepstakes.

But what if the Boston Celtics can keep Holiday away from their Eastern Conference rival and add the two-time All-Star to their backcourt? Should C’s president Brad Stevens attempt to work out a deal with Portland to counter the Bucks’ blockbuster?

“Hell yeah,” NBC Sports Boston’s Celtics analyst Brian Scalabrine answered on Early Edition. “Portland is just looking for draft capital right now. I’m not sure they would even ask for Jaylen Brown. So, we have salary. It would get a little dicey for the Boston Celtics and how far you would want to go into the tax with Holiday coming up But Brad Stevens can let Joe Cronin, the president of the Portland Trail Blazers, have the day, have his moment. First call tomorrow morning is, ‘What are you gonna do with Jrue Holiday?’

“So, I’m assuming Brad Stevens will make that call. I don’t know if anything will come of it, what they’re asking for. But the Celtics have draft capital. Remember, we’re in a great position where we’re a good basketball team with a little bit of draft capital moving forward. So, something that Portland has been — we don’t know, but the rumors are that they’re looking to flip Holiday for three first-round picks, right? So the Celtics can go there.”

The Celtics own at least one first-round pick in each of the next seven NBA drafts. If the Blazers are focused on amassing draft capital, Boston should be considered a sensible trade partner. With his defensive prowess, Holiday would be the ideal Marcus Smart replacement.

Currently, Derrick White is slated to be Boston’s starting point guard with Malcolm Brogdon and Payton Pritchard coming off the bench. Brogdon reportedly is none too pleased with the organization after he was nearly traded in June, but it reportedly remains unlikely he’ll be moved before the 2023-24 season. The veteran is set to make $22.5 million per year before becoming a free agent in 2025.

“You know what’s going on with the Brogdon situation. They’re happy he’s here, but that’s $20 million. They could get up to that number,” Scalabrine added. “So there’s no doubt that the Celtics should absolutely call the Portland Trail Blazers and find out what’s going on with Jrue Holiday.”

It seems the Blazers are looking to move Holiday as soon as possible, so Stevens should already be ringing Cronin’s phone off the hook if he hopes to make the deal happen.

The Celtics are set to begin training camp next week. They will open their preseason against the 76ers on Oct. 8.