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Jrue Holiday opens up on extending with Celtics

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Jrue Holiday signed a four-year extension with the Celtics this week. (Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports)

Jrue Holiday opens up on extending with Celtics

Just days before the 2023-24 NBA postseason tipped-off, the top-seeded Boston Celtics locked up guard Jrue Holiday for the long-term, inking him to a four-year, $135 million extension Wednesday.

On Thursday, Holiday spoke with the media regarding his thought process of signing a long-term extension–something he’s been open about wanting for some time.

“I think being able to lock into more years and getting more time with players and this organization,” Holiday said Thursday. “I’m just excited. I’m excited to be here and move forward.

“It’s my 15th year. I’m 33. I think the opportunity for guys like me to already play this many years and lock it in for more. For me to be healthy and for this organization to see me and see what I bring to a team, it’s a blessing. At the end of the day, I’m glad we got it done before the playoffs. If it would have happened after, I still would have been happy. I would’ve been locked in. Just really happy and really blessed.”

Holiday, who was acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers last offseason shortly after getting send to Portland for Damian Lillard, is averaging 12.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists, shooting 48.1 percent from the floor, including a career-high 43.1 percent from 3-point range on 4.7 triple tries per game.

The five-time All-Defensive honoree has been crucial to Boston being a top-3 defense in basketball, spearheading their point-of-attack defense while being flanked by Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Kristaps Porzingis, all above-average-to-great defenders in their own right.

The 6-foot-4 had a $39.4 million player option (including bonuses) this upcoming offseason, which he is electing to decline; Holiday’s new 2024-25 cap-hit will be nearly $10 million cheaper ($30.1 million), which is crucial for Boston’s upcoming tax bill. Thus, his new deal has similar cap hits than his current contract extension that he signed in April of 2021 with Milwaukee.

“It was an ongoing conversation,” Holiday said regarding the contract negotiations. “I don’t know, I thought it was pretty easy. I think mutually we just came to an agreement. We felt like this was best not only for me but for the team. It’s how it works. I want to be here. I want to win multiple rings. I’ve heard people say that here multiple times, so I’m ready for that.”

The Celtics, who currently own the league’s best adjusted offense and second-best adjusted defensive rating, per Dunks and Threes, are the prohibitive favorite to make it out of the Eastern Conference are the likely favorite to win the NBA Title. Winning at least one title with this core is important, and Holiday’s numbers don’t reflect his value.

On one hand, this extension could be viewed as hefty since Holiday’s 33-year-old and not the centerpiece to the team’s offense. On the other, based on what he provides defensively in addition to the upcoming cap raises, this contract may not age as poorly as some think if it extends Boston’s title window around stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

What do you think about this contract? Let us know in the comments!

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