Jrue Holiday, $70M Star Will Be Trade Pieces Down The Line: NBA Analyst

A couple of NBA players received lucrative extensions from their current teams as the Boston Celtics and the Phoenix Suns locked in Jrue Holiday and Grayson Allen to multiple-year contracts.

NBA analyst Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer dished out his take on these recent deals for Holiday and Allen, explaining why their contracts could play out as potential trade pieces for both the Celtics and the Suns down the line.

With the homecourt advantage for the rest of the playoffs clinched following a 64-18 season, the Celtics opted to lock up Holiday, arguably their best perimeter lockdown defender, to a four-year, $135 million extension, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

BREAKING: After arriving in a blockbuster offseason trade, Boston Celtics guard Jrue Holiday has agreed on a four-year, $135 million contract extension, his agent Jason Glushon of @GlushonSM tells ESPN. pic.twitter.com/Llln2yczSI

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 10, 2024

Wojnarowski then reported five days later on April 15 that the playoff-bound Suns secured the service of a budding 3-and-D for the next few years after signing Allen to a four-year, $70 million deal.

Phoenix Suns guard Grayson Allen has agreed on a four-year $70 million contract extension with a player option, Mitch Nathan, Aaron Mintz and Steven Heumann of @CAA_Basketball tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/RWX8VVsxGR

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 15, 2024


This pair of extensions done just before the postseason took two serviceable guards from the free-agency class of 2024. Moreover, the value of their contracts could dictate the pricing for the other guards available in the free agency market this offseason.

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O’Connor praised the Celtics and the Suns for locking up their productive guards before any team could get a chance to woo them in the offseason.

However, the Ringer NBA analyst said in a recent podcast that he does not expect Allen and Holiday will play out the entire length of their deals because he believes their teams will use their contracts as trade chips in the future.

“For both these teams, other factors to considered too, is at some point down the line maybe year 3 or maybe year 4 of those contracts, maybe there’s a guy you want to trade,” O’Connor said in the Ringer TV podcast episode last April 16.  You need salaries to make salary-matching deals.

“So down the line for Phoenix and Boston, having those deals wrapped up now, not risking losing them. They are important who they are today but they are also important down the line,” O’Connor added.

The Jrue Holiday Effect in Boston

Holiday arrived in Boston in September 2023 after the Celtics acquired him in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers, who had acquired the guard from the Bucks four days earlier as part of the blockbuster Damian Lillard deal.

A five-time All-Defensive team member, Holiday immediately made an impact for the Celtics, becoming the team’s premier perimeter defender and one of the team’s best playmakers.

Holiday’s statistical numbers may have gone down this season as he averaged 12.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.8 assists. Still, his defense, leadership, and other intangibles have contributed to the Celtics’ dominant regular-season campaign.

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Moreover, Holiday also set career-highs in 3-point shooting percentage (42.9 3P%) and true shooting (59.7 TS%) in his first year with the Celtics, per NBA stats.

Grayson Allen Has Emerged as the Suns’ Ideal 3-and-D

Allen, who ironically was a part of the Damian Lillard, earned a major role on the Suns this season after spending the last two seasons coming off the Bucks’ bench.

In 75 regular-season games with Phoenix, Allen set career highs across traditional and advanced statistics categories. He averaged 13.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists while shooting 50 FG% and league-best 46.1 3PT%, per NBA.com.

Allen has reached new heights offensively with the Suns without abandoning his identity as one of the NBA’s fiercest perimeter defenders, often playing as the enforcer for this top-heavy Suns squad.

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