We have a winner in the Jrue Holiday sweepstakes, and it isn’t the Boston Celtics.
The Milwaukee Bucks are acquiring the talented point guard after agreeing to a blockbuster trade with the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.
The Bucks will send the Pelicans guards Eric Bledsoe and George Hill, three first-round draft picks and two future pick swaps, per Wojnarowski, who compared New Orleans’ massive haul to the return it got from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Anthony Davis.
The Celtics reportedly had interest in Holiday and were aiming to trade their three first-round picks (No. 14, No. 26 and No. 30) in the 2020 NBA Draft for a top-10 selection they could send to the Pelicans as part a trade package for Holiday.
New Orleans likely won’t net any lottery picks from the Bucks, but Milwaukee still paid a steep price by parting with its starting and backup point guards in Bledsoe and Hill in addition to up to five first-round picks.
The Bucks also are acquiring Bogdan Bogdanovic in a separate trade with the Sacramento Kings as they load up their roster to convince superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo to sign his supermax contract extension rather than test free agency next offseason.
Holiday certainly helps Milwaukee’s championship cause: He averaged 19.1 points and 6.7 assists per game last season and is regarded as one of the NBA’s best backcourt defenders.
With Holiday joining an Eastern Conference rival, the pressure is on Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and his staff to improve a squad that reached the Eastern Conference finals last season but may need reinforcements to reach the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.