Boston Celtics’ veteran Jrue Holiday trade piece offers Blazers long-term benefit…

The Boston Celtics have a veteran trade asset, Al Horford, that they could potentially offer to the Portland Trail Blazers in a trade involving Jrue Holiday. This move could provide long-term benefits to the Blazers, especially in the current salary cap environment.

Horford, who is 37 years old, may no longer be in his prime, but he can bring valuable playoff experience to the Blazers’ roster. He could also play alongside Deandre Ayton, allowing Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups to use a larger lineup.

While his age is a concern, his contract is set to expire in 2024-25, which would help the Blazers shed $9.5 million in a season where they are already over the salary cap by about $20 million.

If the Blazers acquire Horford and give him significant playing time, it suggests their intention to compete seriously in the 2023-24 season and provide veteran leadership to players like Deandre Ayton, Anfernee Simons, and rookie Scoot Henderson.

However, if they acquire him with the intention of trading him later, similar to their approach with Jrue Holiday, it would signify a shift towards rebuilding and possibly a lack of confidence in the players left on the roster after the Damian Lillard trade.

The Boston Celtics are unlikely to come out as winners in the competition to acquire Jrue Holiday. However, it’s worth noting what they could offer the Trail Blazers, especially if there are assurances from players who expect to be bought out by their current teams in the future.

This potential scenario raises questions of tampering, which the Celtics typically do not engage in, as opposed to being a victim of it.

In any case, the Celtics are not willing to part with the remaining members of their core, which reached the NBA Finals less than two years ago.

Losing Marcus Smart was already a significant setback for a team that had developed together but struggled in the later rounds of the playoffs.

Giving up Horford and Robert Williams III solely to acquire a player on an expiring contract is not a feasible option for the Celtics’ front office, which has been cautious about overpaying for players.

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