Boston Celtics guard Jrue Holiday has only been with the team for half a season. After news broke in October that the team acquired the former NBA champion, Holiday has made it clear he’d like to stay with the team for a little while longer:
“I’d like to be here,” Holiday told MassLive. “I feel like I’m getting more and more comfortable, loving the guys, loving the organization and loving the city.”
Holiday has a player option worth $39.4 million for next season. However, it’s common for players to opt out of their options to sign a long-term deal, much like Kristaps Porzingis did upon getting traded to the Celtics last summer.
This season, Holiday is averaging 13.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game. Additionally, Holiday is shooting 46.3% from the field. Thanks in part to Holiday’s contributions, the 35-10 Boston Celtics currently own the NBA’s best record.
NBA News: Boston Celtics Guard Open To Contract Extension
Jrue Holiday’s Impact
Though his offense has been helpful for the Celtics, Holiday’s main role is as a defensive specialist. More specifically, Holiday was intended to replace Marcus Smart’s defense and grit. Arguably the best perimeter defender in the league, Holiday’s backcourt pairing with Derrick White has elevated the Celtics’ overall defense. In an interview with J.J. Redick, White talked about the three-time NBA Teammate of the Year’s fit with the Celtics:
“When Smart got traded, it was a shock,” White said. “Then, it was like, ‘Oh, there’s going to be a lot more opportunities and I’m going to have to step up with the ball in my hand, compared to last year.’ When we brought Jrue along, everybody was like, ‘We still need you to be aggressive and how we envisioned it before we got Jrue.’”
Currently, the Celtics own the second-best defensive rating in the NBA behind the Minnesota Timberwolves. Boston’s 6.4 blocks per game also rank as second-best in the league behind the Oklahoma City Thunder. Perhaps most notably, however, the Celtics allow just 14 points per game off turnovers, tied with the Houston Rockets for best in the NBA.
Should the Celtics extend Jrue Holiday?
One thing to note about the Celtics possibly extending Holiday is that talks are going to have to wait:
Due to the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Celtics have to wait six months before they can sign Holiday to a contract extension, but they could extend him for up to four years.
Because the Celtics acquired Holiday in October, an extension cannot officially happen until April. Signing an extension during the season, however, appears to be something Holiday is open to:
“My last extension was during the course of the year,” said Holiday, who last signed an extension with the Bucks in April of 2021 (that season ended in mid-May). “I think that we can do both, talk about it and as well as prepare for games and prepare for what the future is.”
Another thing to keep in mind is that the rest of Boston’s top six are all under contract next season. However, White’s contract expires in 2025. Although the Celtics may retain both guards, locking Holiday up now provides long-term insurance.
Though he is already 33 years old, second-oldest on the Celtics behind Al Horford, locking Holiday up for the long run is a no-brainer for Boston.