Former New Orleans Pelicans guard at the heart of blockbuster trade

Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

After months of waiting (and praying) for the Damian Lillard situation to resolve itself, we now have a trade. Lillard will be joining the Milwaukee Bucks.

Lillard becoming the new member of the Bucks is the centerpiece of a three-team deal that involves Milwaukee, the Phoenix Suns, and the Portland Trail Blazers. Here are the full details of the deal:

Do you notice a familiar name included in that package? In order for the Bucks to get Lillard, part of the deal required them to part ways with Jrue Holiday. The same player they acquired from us prior to the start of the 2020-21 season. Holiday spent seven years with the Pelicans before being traded to the Bucks.

Holiday was able to live up to the expectations Bucks fans had for him when their team pulled the trigger on that blockbuster deal. In three seasons, he performed at an All-Star level (despite only getting one actual All-Star nomination) and helped Milwaukee win their first title since 1971.

Holiday will join the young core of Scoot Henderson, Anfernee Simons, Shaedon Sharpe, and Deandre Ayton in Portland. However, it doesn’t seem like he will remain there for long.

As a 33-year-old fresh off an All-Star season, Holiday hardly fits the timetable of a rebuilding team. Several teams with championship aspirations will be knocking at the Trail Blazers’ doorstep trying to acquire the veteran guard’s services. That list of teams will likely include the two biggest losers of the Lillard saga – the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat.

Maybe even the Pelicans will make a call about Holiday. While he doesn’t technically fill one of their two biggest needs (shooting and rim protection), he has a game that fits well alongside high-level talent. After all, he did successfully play alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton for the last three seasons.

The coming days will gift us with more information regarding Holiday’s next landing spot. But it is crazy to think that our former starting point guard played an integral role in the trade of the offseason.

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