Jrue Holiday is teaming up with MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Monday night.
In return, Charania reports the Pelicans are receiving Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, three first-round picks and two future pick swaps. It’s an all-in, present-oriented move for the Bucks, who have won 116 regular-season games over the past two seasons. Antetokounmpo has said that whether he’ll sign a supermax extension will depend on the decisions the team makes. The New York Times' Marc Stein reports that there's been "chatter" recently that Antetokounmpo indeed plans to ink his five-year supermax extension.
NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark had reported earlier Monday night that the Sixers were interested in trying to acquire Holiday.
Early Tuesday morning, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Milwaukee acquired Kings wing Bogdan Bogdanovic in a sign-and-trade, sending Donte DiVincenzo, Ersan Ilyasova and DJ Wilson to Sacramento. Justin James is also moving to the Bucks in the deal, per Wojnarowski. The 28-year-old Bogdanovic should play an important role for the Bucks as an offensive initiator. DiVincenzo, a Villanova product and the 17th pick in the 2018 draft, is the top attraction in the package heading to the Kings.
Holiday hasn’t made an All-Star team since his final season as a Sixer in 2012-13, but he’s a high-level two-way player. The 30-year-old averaged 17.6 points, 6.8 assists and 1.5 steals over seven seasons with the Pelicans, who will look to build around 2019 No. 1 pick overall pick Zion Williamson and new head coach Stan Van Gundy. Holiday has a $26.3 million player option for the 2021-22 season.
The balance of power in the Eastern Conference will be one fascinating storyline to watch early in this ultra-fast offseason. How smooth will the fit be with Holiday, Bogdanovic, Antetokounmpo and fellow All-Star Khris Middleton? Will James Harden go to the Nets, his reported top trade destination? Does new Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey have something up his sleeve, whether that’s a major trade or moves on the margins?
The Sixers still own five picks in Wednesday night’s NBA draft (Nos. 21, 34, 36, 49 and 58), Morey’s first as the team’s president of basketball operations. It seems a Holiday trade would’ve required them to deplete those draft assets considerably.