The Eastern Conference arms race has taken another turn. According to multiple reports, the Boston Celtics are acquiring guard Jrue Holiday from the Portland Trail Blazers.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Celtics are sending center Robert Williams, guard Malcolm Brogdon and two first-round picks to the Blazers in the deal.
The Celtics later confirmed the trade.
Holiday, 33, was traded from the Milwaukee Bucks to Portland in the Damian Lillard trade this past week. With the Trail Blazers rebuilding, Holiday was expected to be flipped in another trade.
The Celtics immediately surfaced as one of the teams interested in Holiday, and now they've got their man. Holiday provides a clear upgrade in the backcourt, especially with reports that there was friction between Brogdon and the Celtics over the handling of the elbow injury that hindered him in the playoffs. The Celtics also nearly traded Brogdon once already this offseason, as he was in the initial reported trade for Kristaps Porzingis before the Clippers backed out. Boston wound up trading Marcus Smart for Porzingis instead.
Holiday is an elite defender who has been named to the NBA All-Defensive Team five times. He is also a career 36.6% shooter from three and has averaged 6.5 assists per game.
The biggest loss for Boston in the trade, both physically and figuratively, is Williams, who has been a menacing frontcourt presence when healthy. With his departure, the Celtics are left with Porzingis, Al Horford and Luke Kornet at the center position, and could certainly be in the market for some help there.
Meanwhile, though, the C's could now roll out a starting five of Holiday, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Porzingis and Horford, with Derrick White coming off the bench, or White could start and Horford could come off the bench if they go smaller.