The Bucks moved veteran guard Jrue Holiday to the Trail Blazers Wednesday in a blockbuster trade for Damian Lillard. The Blazers are expected to trade Holiday to begin to rebuild with their young core. According to Kyle Neubeck, the Sixers reportedly have expressed interest in trading for Holiday. Should they pull the trigger?
The Sixers need all the help they can get.
Jrue Holiday is among the best and most respected defenders in the NBA. He’s also one of the only defenders who can hold his own against Damian Lillard, which the Sixers are going to need help with for the foreseeable future. Holiday is also a threat on the offensive end as seen when he was on the Bucks. He averaged 19.3 points, 7.4 assists, and shot 38.4% from three last season, as well as earning his first all-star appearance.
Holiday would automatically make the Sixers’ starting five more diverse. Offensively he’s very similar to Harden, and he would stretch the floor to get Embiid in strong positions on the court. Defensively Holiday is a 10 to Harden’s 2, and his presence in the backcourt would be invaluable to the Sixers. As a seasoned vet and former champion, he would bring another voice of leadership into the locker room.
This may be the Sixers’ best chance to ship Harden away.
But what would a trade for Holiday look like? James Harden obviously does not fit in Portland’s plans for their future, but this may be the chance to send him to the Clippers. However, the Clippers would have to believe Harden has more value than Jrue because they are reportedly also interested in Holiday. The Clippers have been hesitant to trade for Harden due to the asking price and the fact that his last three tenures have ended on a bad note. But, if a three-team deal is unlikely at the moment, then a swap between the Blazers and Sixers alone is practically out of the question.
Contractually, the salaries match with Holiday set to make $34 million and Harden to make $35.6 million this season. Holiday also has a player option at the end of this season which is something the Sixers need to keep in mind. Portland is reportedly looking for high-draft capital, so the Sixers most likely would need to offer additional value to catch the Blazers’ attention.
However, should the Sixers continue their interest in Holiday, they will be entering a significant bidding battle for him. But, since he makes sense for so many teams in playoff contention, a reunion with their top pick from 2009 doesn’t seem likely at the moment.