Knicks miss out on Jrue Holiday as rival makes blockbuster deal

Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday (21) celebrates a basket during the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks missed out on the brief Jrue Holiday sweepstakes as the Portland Trailblazers agreed to send the veteran two-way guard to the Boston Celtics on Sunday. The Celtics traded Holiday in exchange for Robert Williams, Malcolm Brogdon, and two first-round picks.

Jrue Holiday lands with rival Boston Celtics

After being involved in the Damian Lillard trade to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, Holiday was quickly thrown into trade rumors with the New York Knicks. The 33-year-old is coming off a season in which he made his second career all-star game, averaging 19.3 points per game, while shooting 38% from three-point range.

Being one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA, his two-way presence would’ve created an exceptional backcourt alongside Jalen Brunson. Instead, a team the Knicks are aiming to finish ahead of next season, the Boston Celtics, improved their roster by acquiring Holiday.

Making a move for Holiday was always unlikely

Given the nature of Holiday’s expiring contract combined with his age, it seemed unlikely the Knicks would make a move for the veteran guard. With Holiday projected to make $37 million next season, a trade for him would’ve likely had to involve one of Julius Randle or RJ Barrett. This would’ve only made the risk of trading for Holiday even larger, as New York could’ve potentially lost one of their franchise cornerstones for a player not guaranteed to re-sign long-term.

Who could the Knicks target next?

The Knicks will now shift gears as another available star comes off the board. Given the murky situation with the Philadelphia 76ers, Joel Embiid rumors will continue to swirl around the NBA with New York being in the thick of those rumors. Given the newfound activity of the trade market after months of silence, one would have to imagine that a splash move is on the horizon, even as Leon Rose and the rest of New York’s front office continue their patient approach.

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