Holladay trade stocktaking: Celtics don't be happy too early, the Blazers are winning?
Holladay, to the Celtics.
Bombastic reports from Late-Night ESPN Celster that Celtic and Blazers have reached a deal, the specifics of which are:
- The Celtics get Holladay
- Blazers get Lowe, Brogdon and two future first-round picks (top four protections from the Warriors in 2024, no protection from the Celtics in 2029)
ESPN's follow-up report has two and quite important reports:
1. After being traded by the Bucks, the Celtics have been at the top of Holladay's favorite team in recent days, and the Celtics are expected to keep Holladay for a long time
2. The Blazers plan to partner Lowe with Ayton, and they are expected to continue to trade Brogdon due to their commitment to young guards in the team, and several teams are currently interested in Brogdon
Let's start with the Celts.
Holladay averaged 19.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game last season, shooting 38.4% from three-point range and 58.6% from the field, not only scoring and assists are the highest in the past four years, but also ensuring offensive efficiency, and was selected to the All-Star and All-Defensive First Team.
So, don't look at Holladay at 33 years old, he is still one of the most suitable stars to compete for the title, and the Celtics have definitely improved his outside strength. Holladay is equivalent to an upgraded version of Smart, and the hard power may not be inferior to Jaylen Brown, who just signed a 5-year, 300 million contract, and Holladay is also Lillard's nemesis, who was locked in the 2018 playoffs.
Theoretically, the Celtics could field Holladay + Jaylen Brown + Tatum + Porzingis + Horford to start, with Derrick White sitting on the bench.
This six-man group may be the strongest in the league, better than the Bucks and defending champion Nuggets who got Lillard, and don't forget that last season's Nuggets won the championship by relying on a six-man rotation that has almost no weaknesses.
However, the problems of the new Celtic are quite a lot, and they are quite obvious.
Compared with last season's roster, the Celtics did add two All-Stars, Holladay and Porzingis, but also lost the four top rotations of Lowe, Gway, Brogdon, and Smart, and they went directly from a long-rotation team to a short-rotation team, and others outside the team's six, such as Pritchard, Hauser, Cornett and others, are regular season players, and the playoffs may not be useful.
Getting Porzingis had strengthened the Celtics' defensive attributes a lot, but losing Lowe was a huge loss, especially considering Horford's decline and Porzingis' injury potential.
To put it bluntly, assuming the Celtics face the Bucks, Holladay can defend Lillard, but who will defend the alphabet brother? Porzingis, who is thinner than his alphabet brother, or Horford, who has bottomed out in this year's playoffs? You can't rely on Cornet, the Lord of the Void, right?
So the Celtics still don't be happy too early, their interior line definitely needs to continue to be strengthened, this can be seen in the follow-up operation, believe Stevens' vision.
And, the Celtics' salary burden has further increased, Holladay will definitely renew his contract next year, otherwise he will send away two first-rounders in vain, in addition, they will face Tatum's contract renewal next year, which may be another super top salary of more than 300 million in 5 years, and the future salary will directly explode.
Look at the Trailblazers.
In the Lillard trade, the Blazers received Ayton, Lowe, Brogdon, Kamala, three future first-round picks (2024 Warriors top four protected, 2029 Celtics unprotected, 2029 Bucks unprotected), two first-round swap picks (2028 and 2030, from the Bucks).
According to ESPN, the Blazers will continue to trade Brogdon, and if they're lucky, they can get another first-round pick — so don't blame the Blazers for ignoring the Heat, and see what they're getting now is definitely more suitable than Hilo, Dunroe and two first-round picks.
At this point, the Blazers have basically completed the rebuilding framework, and their starting lineup for the new season may be: Henderson + Simmons + Grant + Lowe + Ayton, with Sharp and Cybre sitting on the bench, it may be difficult to rush to the playoffs, but giving them two years may be a surprise.
To sum up the Lillard trade, the Blazers may be the winning side, and the most impressive thing is that the Blazers management is really patient, and this patience has turned into a good enough return, and they have single-handedly disrupted the East - look at the operation and determination of the Celtics and Bucks, the Heat and 76ers, I am afraid they have fallen behind.