The Boston Celtics are adding an NBA champion point guard.
The Portland Trail Blazers reached a deal to trade two-time All-Star Jrue Holiday to Boston for Robert Williams, Malcolm Brogdon, the Golden State Warriors' 2024 first-round pick and Boston's 2029 first-round pick, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak before the team made an announcement.
The trade for Holiday comes less than a week after the guard was dealt to Portland as part of the Damian Lillard trade to Milwaukee.
The landscape in the Eastern Conference continues to shift with seismic implications. Milwaukee, the 2021 champs now featuring Giannis Antetokounmpo and Lillard, and Boston, which reached the 2022 Finals, have emerged as the favorites to win the East. They also have the two-best odds to win the title, ahead of 2023 champion Denver.
The Celtics have lost valuable contributors, especially Brogdon’s poise and Williams’ defense, but they added Kristaps Porzingis in the summer and Holiday to complement Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Holiday, 33, remains a solid offensive point guard and defender, and Porzingis had a career-high in points (23.2 per game) last season for the Wizards.
Holiday gives Boston a significant boost in the backcourt as the team tries to reach the NBA Finals again after losing to Golden State in the 2022 Finals. Boston was eliminated in the 2023 Eastern Conference finals to eventual runner-up Miami Heat.
Part of Milwaukee's 2021 championship team, Holiday is coming off one of the best seasons of his 14-year NBA career. He averaged 19.3 points – second most behind Antetokounmpo – and a team-high 7.4 assists . He also had a career high 5.1 rebounds per game and was a first-team All-Defense selection in 2022-23. Celtics guard Derrick White was second-team All-Defense last season, giving the Celtics an outstanding defensive backcourt.
Portland continues its rebuild, and all told in the Lillard and Holiday trades, it has accumulated three first-round draft picks (2024, 2029, 2029), Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara, Williams and Brogdon and the right to swap first-round with Milwaukee in 2028 and 2030.
The Blazers may not be done making moves either. With Anfernee Simons and rookie Scoot Henderson in the backcourt for the present and future, Brogdon could be traded to a playoff-caliber team in need of a savvy veteran guard.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Celtics acquire Jrue Holiday in trade with Trail Blazers