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Multiple Eastern Conference contenders reportedly interested in acquiring Jrue Holiday

Holiday was sent to Portland in the Damian Lillard trade but could return to the East.

2023 NBA Playoffs - Milwaukee Bucks v Miami Heat
Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks looks on during the game against the Miami Heat during Round 1 Game 4 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2023 at FTX Arena in Miami, Florida.
Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks traded for Portland Trail Blazers star point guard Damian Lillard in a blockbuster deal Wednesday, but had to send their own point guard back in Jrue Holiday. It’s a tough decision for the Bucks, who saw Holiday help the team win the 2021 championship. Holiday’s defense is still elite, but his offensive production has left something to be desired over the last few seasons. And if anything were to happen to Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks likely feel Holiday cannot step into a lead role.

That doesn’t mean Holiday will remain with the Trail Blazers. After all, he’s still considered one of the better point guards in the game and is a veteran looking to play for a contending team. The Miami Heat, who were considered frontrunners for Lillard at one point, could look to add Holiday at a lower price point to bolster their roster. The Philadelphia 76ers are also interested in re-routing Holiday, although they have their own trade situation with James Harden. A move back to the East with a contender would also give Holiday a chance to play the Bucks and get some revenge, although that narrative likely matters less than being in the best situation to win a championship.

The Heat would likely offer a package similar to what they did for Lillard, although Tyler Herro probably gets kept out of this deal. The 76ers could deal Harden to the Blazers and make him their headache, although the Sixers likely ask for more if they believe Harden is a better player than Holiday overall. We’ll see how this market develops, or if a third team emerges as a potential landing spot for the former Bucks point guard.