Superstar guard Damian Lillard finally is on the move. But will there be another blockbuster trade in the near future?
The Portland Trail Blazers sent Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks and received Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara and draft picks in exchange as part of a three-team trade Wednesday.
The Warriors never were in the mix to land Lillard. In fact, the superstar recently stated he’d rather lose every season than join Golden State. But ESPN’s Brian Windhorst speculated another All-Star involved in the trade could be on the move soon in Holiday, a five-time NBA All-Defensive team honoree.
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“Even the Warriors, who have interesting young players on their roster, plus a few far-out draft picks and swaps when Stephen Curry might be retired, could join the race [to trade for Holiday]," Windhorst wrote. "Provided they'd be willing to re-trade Chris Paul, who members of the organization have praised for his offseason work of trying to fit in.
"Curry's never had a backcourt teammate such as Paul, but he's also never had a teammate with Holiday's skill set, and he's five years younger."
It's an interesting thought. Holiday can change a playoff series as one of the best backcourt defenders in the league. His tenacity paired with the best shooter in the game in Curry would make for a phenomenal one-two backcourt punch.
But to make the trade, the Warriors would have to move a lucrative contract like Paul, who is owed $30.8 million this season and has a non-guaranteed $30 million on the books next year. They also are hoping to re-sign Klay Thompson to a long-term deal as he enters a contract year. Adding Holiday would only add to the league-high luxury tax the organization has faced in recent years.
Golden State Warriors
Holiday has one year left on his contract and a player option he'll likely decline for 2024-25. A contending team probably wouldn’t trade for him unless they were confident he’d sign a long-term deal, but he's not able to sign an extension until late March due to Wednesday's trade.
It's not only Golden State that Windhorst speculates about, however. He also listed the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks and Sacramento Kings as teams who potentially could find a way to trade for Holiday.
The Trail Blazers are rebuilding. If they start looking for a trade partner for the 33-year-old Holiday, Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. just might pick up the phone.