In a surprising turn of events on Wednesday, the long-anticipated Damian Lillard trade took an unexpected twist in a three-team blockbuster deal involving the Bucks, Suns, and Trail Blazers. Contrary to earlier expectations of Lillard joining the Heat, the Bucks emerged as the unexpected destination, solidifying their position as a formidable force in the Eastern Conference.
As part of this complex trade, Jrue Holiday was sent to the Trail Blazers. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Blazers are set to act swiftly in trading Holiday. Speculations have been circulating, and it has been confirmed that the Sixers are among the teams expressing a keen interest in acquiring the talented guard.
Despite the Sixers’ interest, securing Holiday may prove challenging. The 33-year-old guard has just one more season under contract, and a substantial $39.4 million player option for the 2024-25 season. Moreover, his hefty $36.86 million salary for the upcoming season implies that the Sixers may need to part ways with either James Harden or Tobias Harris to match salaries.
The potential scenario of Daryl Morey orchestrating a trade that involves sending out Harden for Holiday is a strategic move, but it would likely require the involvement of a third team. The Clippers emerge as a plausible candidate for this role, given their prior association with Harden as a likely destination.
Despite the complexities, acquiring Jrue Holiday could be a significant upgrade for the Sixers. With his proven playmaking skills, versatile scoring both on and off the ball alongside Tyrese Maxey, and outstanding defensive capabilities, Holiday brings size and point-of-attack resistance that the Sixers could greatly benefit from. His impressive stats from the previous season—averaging 19.3 points, 7.4 assists, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game, along with securing a spot in the All-Defensive First Team—underscore his value.
For Sixers fans, the prospect of acquiring Holiday is a refreshing and positive development amid the off-season drama, particularly surrounding James Harden. While the specifics of the trade remain uncertain, the indication that Portland is moving swiftly suggests that answers won’t be delayed for long. This potential move could reshape the landscape of the Eastern Conference and elevate the Sixers’ chances in the upcoming season.