Celtics reportedly lock up Jrue Holiday with four-year, $135 million contract extension

Boston Celtics v Utah Jazz
Boston Celtics v Utah Jazz

Celtics ownership is opening up the checkbook to keep a championship contender together.

The Celtics and Holiday have agreed to a four-year, $135 million extension, a story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The last year is reportedly a player option.

Holiday was traded from the Milwaukee Bucks — where he helped lead the team to a title in 2021 — to Portland as part of the Damian Lillard trade. The Trail Blazers flipped Holiday to the Bucks' championship rivals, the Celtics. Holiday has been a key part of Boston's league best season, in part because of his steady play at the point — 12.3 points per game, shooting 43.1% from 3 — but also because of his elite permiter defense. Paired with Derrick White, Holiday helps form the best defensive guard combination in the league.

Holiday will decline his $37.3 million player option for the security of more years, and his estimated salary for next season ($30.1 million) will save the Celtics about $38 million in salary and luxury tax payments, reports Keith Smith of Spotac.

The Celtics are about to get very expensive, they have $192 million in salary on the books for 11 players next season (2024-25), putting them over the second apron already with roster spots still to fill. The following season (2025-26), Jayson Tatum's max new contract will kick in as well.

That's the price for contention. The only questions are how much the Celtics owners are willing to spend and how much being that far over the second apron hampers Brad Steven's team-building. Boston can't maintain this level of spending forever, but for a few years during a championship window, Boston is going all in, which is all fans can ask of ownership.

Keeping Holiday gets Boston that much closer to banner number 18.