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Is Jrue Holiday the missing piece the Celtics have been waiting to obtain?

The Boston Celtics made another move in their offseason makeover by acquiring All-Star guard Jrue Holiday from the Portland Trail Blazers. The Trail Blazers were looking to trade Holiday after acquiring him in a blockbuster deal involving Damian Lillard. The Celtics quickly struck a deal, sending Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams III, Golden State’s 2024 first-round draft pick, and an unprotected 2029 first-round pick to Portland. The trade raised eyebrows around the league due to the value the Celtics gave up, but it also brought excitement as Holiday joins Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in Boston.

Holiday, known for his impact on both ends of the court, will replace the versatility and tenacity lost with Marcus Smart’s departure. Alongside Derrick White, the Celtics now have two All-Defensive team members in the backcourt alongside their All-NBA wings. The addition of Holiday also gives the Celtics the potential for another elite defense, as they finished second on that end of the court last season. However, the Celtics will miss Williams’ ability to protect the paint, as he paired shot-blocking talent with quick feet on the perimeter.

With Holiday in the mix, the Celtics may use smaller lineups more frequently, but they still have the option of using double-big lineups with Kristaps Porziņģis and Al Horford. Williams’ departure opens up a bigger role for backup center Luke Kornet. The trade also freed up a roster spot that the Celtics could use to add frontcourt depth. They have reached an agreement with Wenyen Gabriel to join their training camp, and there are other established centers available like Bismack Biyombo, Dewayne Dedmon, Gorgui Deng, and Blake Griffin.

While Williams held higher trade value, Brogdon was not just a throwaway for the Celtics. He provided steady offense off the bench, finishing fourth in the NBA in 3-point percentage last season. The relationship between Brogdon and the organization grew complicated after almost being traded to the Clippers this summer. However, that issue is no longer a concern for Boston.

The Celtics’ starting lineup is still to be determined, with options for a smaller lineup with White and Holiday in the backcourt or a larger lineup with Horford and Porziņģis in the frontcourt. The Celtics believe Holiday could be the missing piece for a championship run, although there are some potential downsides to the trade, such as losing frontcourt insurance and Holiday’s inconsistent shooting in the playoffs.

Despite these concerns, Holiday’s impact on and off the court makes him a valuable addition to the Celtics. The team hopes to sign him to an extension and sees him as a great complement to their core players. After falling short in the playoffs in recent seasons, the Celtics decided to make significant changes to their roster and ship out four rotation players.