1 positive, 1 negative of Damian Lillard-Bucks trade for Indiana Pacers: Positive – Potential Pacers trade target in Jrue Holiday
The biggest thing to note about the Damian Lillard trade for the Indiana Pacers, in my opinion, is not where Lillard went, but who he got traded for. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Jrue Holiday is now a Portland Trail Blazer, although probably not for too long, as Portland is going into a full rebuild this upcoming season and will be looking to move Holiday.
Personally, Jrue Holiday to the Pacers has been a dream of mine since 2020, and I think now is the best and most likely time for it to happen.
As we all know, Buddy Hield is on the trade block for the Pacers, as extension talks with him and the front office have stalled. In fact, many were clamoring for the Pacers to get involved in the Lillard trade and potentially dump Hield to a third party, similar to how they dealt Victor Oladipo to Houston in 2021.
While Kevin Pritchard and Chad Buchanan have downplayed the Hield rumors and have stated that they want him on the team, you just can’t say no to an opportunity like this.
If I’m Kevin Pritchard, I’m calling up Joe Cronin as soon as possible and offering up Hield and Denver’s 2024 first-round pick to try and snag Holiday from the Blazers before they deal him elsewhere.
While Holiday is a great player on paper, it’s the fit with Tyrese Haliburton that should put the Pacers over the edge. Holiday’s off-ball presence and superb defensive ability should fit like a glove with Haliburton’s playmaking and scoring ability.
A backcourt of those two would be dynamite to watch and could play a huge factor in the Pacers getting their first playoff berth since the Oladipo/Sabonis era.
In addition to the Haliburton fit, Rick Carlisle has had plenty of praise for Holiday in the past and would most likely love coaching him.
Personally, I don’t think the potential Buddy Hield trades get any better than this, and it would be worth giving up a late first-rounder for Holiday, whose defensive ability and leadership in the locker room speaks for itself and would really help in making Indy a playoff team.
So, while the addition of Lillard to the division may be the first change on people’s minds after the trade, the idea of bringing Holiday to Indiana is intriguing, and one that should be explored.