Several teams have expressed interest in acquiring Jrue Holiday from the Portland Trail Blazers following the Damian Lillard blockbuster that sent the seven-time All-Star to the Milwaukee Bucks. One team that emerged as a potential suitor is the Dallas Mavericks.
There were several players who moved addresses during Wednesday's blockbuster deal that finally ended the Damian Lillard era in Portland. The Bucks swung big and paired Lillard with their franchise superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. As for Holiday, he shouldn't be in Portland for long.
The Mavericks would be an ideal landing spot for Holiday to pair with the killer duo of Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic. Defense isn't particularly the main calling cards of Doncic and Irving, so they would benefit from having one of the best perimeter defenders in the league alongside them.
Mavericks trade package for Blazers for Jrue Holiday
The Mavericks do not have a ton of picks to dangle in a trade for Jrue Holiday, but it does have several young players with promising upside to entice Portland to do business with the Texas-based squad. With that said, let's take a look at the perfect offer the Dallas Mavericks can make the Portland Trail Blazers following the Damian Lillard trade.
Dallas Mavericks receive: Jrue Holiday
Why this trade makes sense for the Mavericks
As mentioned, the Mavericks trade for Jrue Holiday to give them the point-of-attack defense that neither Luka Doncic or Kyrie Irving can give them. Dallas ranked 25th in defensive rating last season, 24th in opposing field goal percentage, and 29th in steals per game. It's clear that defense was an issue for the Mavs and GM Nico Harrison has done a great job in adding defensive pieces around Doncic and Irving this offseason. Perhaps Holiday is the final defensive piece this team needs to truly etch themselves as legitimate title contenders.
The Mavericks will give up some of depth to trade for Holiday. They will lose perhaps their top reserve scorer in Tim Hardaway Jr., who averaged 14.4 points per game while shooting 38.5 percent from beyond the arc. Dallas will also let go of one of their offseason acquisitions Richaun Holmes, who addresses their lack of depth up front.
Perhaps the most valuable player they give up in this deal — and the part of the move that Mavs fans might not like the most — is Jaden Hardy. A lot of Mavs fans are high on Hardy and for good reason. The 21 year old showcased a ton of promise in his rookie season. Per 36 minutes, Hardy averaged 21.4 points and 3.3 assists. He shot 40.4 percent from beyond the arc and had a true shooting percentage of 57.1 percent.
I get it. Hardy is arguably the most intriguing prospect this team has moving forward. His offensive gifts are apparent and he could very well become a great offensive force in the future. He's also a safety blanket in case everything goes completely south and the nightmare of Doncic and Irving leaving becomes reality.
But this is Jrue Holiday we're talking about. Not only is he one of the top three perimeter defenders in the NBA, but he actually addresses a major need the Mavericks have and is obviously more battle-tested. Dallas does not have a player they can put on against the top perimeter players in the West such as Stephen Curry, Devin Booker, De'Aaron Fox or even Jamal Murray. Hardy isn't a slouch on that end of the floor, but he isn't Holiday either.
Finally, what this move does is it gives the signal to Doncic that the Mavs are committed to winning with him. Holiday is a winning piece that can help the Mavs achieve its goal of becoming NBA champs.
Why this trade makes sense for the Blazers
As for the Blazers, they get a ton of assets in this trade with the Mavericks. Jaden Hardy will be the main centerpiece of this trade. It's arguable that he could be a redundant piece considering they are already committed to building around Scoot Henderson and Anfernee Simons. But it wouldn't hurt Portland to see what the 21-year-old could bring.
In addition, they also bring in a top-5 protected 1st round pick, which could turn out well in their favor in case things go south in Dallas within the next couple of years and the Doncic-Irving pairing doesn't work.
Hardaway, meanwhile, has two years remaining on his deal, including this season. He will make $16.1 million in 2024-25. As for Holmes, he does have a player option worth $12.8 million dollars for next season. Perhaps Portland can command a couple more second rounders to take on his contract.