ANOTHER HUGE INCOMING: Celtics now in advance talks for another Blockbuster trade after Jrue Holiday

After obtaining Jrue Holiday from the Portland Trail Blazers, the Boston Celtics should be done with their summer scheming, right?

After Boston traded Marcus Smart for Kristaps Porzingis in a three-team transaction and signed Jaylen Brown to a supermax contract extension, it was reasonable to assume the same. Nonetheless, the Celtics jumped on the opportunity to sign Holiday on Sunday, after the Milwaukee Bucks moved him to Portland in a blockbuster trade for Damian Lillard last week.

Report: Celtics trade for Jrue Holiday - Brew Hoop

The Celtics have a lot of money on the books — both now and in the future — which could preclude them from making another big splash. However, ESPN NBA insider Kevin Pelton made an intriguing observation Sunday while rating the Celtics-Blazers transaction, which could disclose Boston’s next offseason target.

Here’s what Pelton had to say:

The Celtics could also sign a free agent to fill the roster spot created by this trade, but they will be subject to new rules prohibiting teams above the first luxury-tax apron from signing players waived midseason who previously made more than the value of the non-taxpayer midlevel exception ($12.4 million).

(Note that similar limits do not apply to Reggie Bullock, who agreed to a buyout with the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday. Bullock does not qualify because the trade will take place before the start of the regular season, and his pay is less than the criteria. With both Boston and Milwaukee in the mix, the struggle to sign Bullock might be an important turning point in the title chase.)

Pelton wasn’t the only one who thought of pursuing Bullock. In a roundtable piece published Monday, The Athletic’s John Hollinger suggested the idea, and longtime NBA reporter David Aldridge concurred with the conclusion that Boston may now shift its focus to the 32-year-old swingman.

Aldridge then speculated on whether Delon Wright of the Washington Wizards may be a viable option for the C’s. After all, Boston still has assets to work with in the trade market, even if matching salaries may be tricky.

Washington Wizards: has Delon Wright earned a starting spot?

Here’s what Aldridge had to say:

As John noted, I believe the C’s will go all-in on Bullock, who isn’t looking for a lot of money, but rather to be on a good team with a chance to compete at a high level. We can all agree that that describes Boston, right? Bullock and the Spurs divorced amicably; league-wide Dame/Holiday maneuverings made a deal for the veteran marksman all but impossible this week, and no one wanted to wait any longer. But if they can’t sign Bullock after he clears waivers on Tuesday… I mean, a guy like Delon Wright, who has insanely good advanced defensive metrics, is at least hypothetically tradeable. If Boston was ready to

I doubt Washington would reject a prospective deal that included one or two of its remaining surplus selections.
Overall, the Celtics have a strong roster. As a result, they’re considered co-favorites (together with the Bucks) to win the Eastern Conference and the NBA Finals this season.

Boston Celtics: Brad Stevens is setting up to lure in a star next offseason
Adding Holiday to a rotation that includes Brown, Porzingis, Al Horford, Derrick White, and, of course, Jayson Tatum could be enough to propel Boston to the top of the Eastern Conference in 2023-24. Few, if any, teams in the NBA can compete with the Celtics’ elite talent.

Still, depth, particularly in the frontcourt, could be a concern. So, Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens will surely leave no stone unturned as he puts the finishing touches on what Boston hopes will be a successful season.

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