“Celtics and Jrue Holiday Seal $135 Million Contract Extension Deal Ahead of Playoffs: Here’s Why”

Why Celtics, Jrue Holiday agreed on $135 million contract extension right before playoffs

Celtics' Jrue Holiday with money falling around him

Both Jrue Holiday and the Celtics are winners after agreeing to a four-year, $135 million extension before the playoffs.

When the Boston Celtics moved Marcus Smart in their offseason trade to acquire former All-Star big man Kristaps Porzingis, there was a glaring hole left in the team’s backcourt. Although Boston loves what Derrick White brings to the table, the need for a defensive stopper and veteran presence stood out. This is why Brad Stevens and the Celtics went out and got Jrue Holiday, who was shipped to the Portland Trail Blazers in the Damian Lillard blockbuster deal.

Jrue Holiday, Celtics reportedly reach agreement on 4-year, $135 million  extension - Yahoo Sports

Holiday, who has always been known to be one of the best two-way players in the league, has helped elevate the Celtics’ defense. Right ahead of the start of the playoffs, Boston finds themselves at 62-17 overall, the best record in the NBA. As their championship hopes grow, it’s hard to overlook Holiday’s contributions. This is why the Celtics and Holiday agreed to a massive contract extension on Wednesday evening.

Although he hasn’t even been in Boston for a full year, Holiday is not going anywhere anytime soon after agreeing to a four-year, $135 million contract extension with the franchise. Now under contract through the 2027-28 season, the veteran point guard has been assured by the Celtics’ front office that he is an essential part of their championship-caliber core alongside Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, White, and Porzingis.

The timing of this contract extension shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise. Boston is about to embark on their playoff journey as the No. 1 overall team in the league, and at this point, their front office has turned the page to the 2024-25 season in terms of figuring out the team’s financial situation. After giving Brown the largest extension in league history last year and with Tatum’s upcoming extension, the Celtics needed to find a way to cut down on some costs.

Celtics' Jrue Holiday agrees to 4-year, $135M extension / News -  Basketnews.com

Believe it or not, signing Holiday to this four-year, $135 million extension right now is very beneficial to the Celtics due to his $37 million player option for the 2024-25 season. Due to this extension, Holiday essentially declines this option early and signs with the team for almost $7 million less. Holiday gets long-term security, the Celtics save money during the upcoming 2024-25 season, and both parties continue what has been a successful marriage to this point that may lead to a championship in June.

Ahead of his 34th birthday in June, Holiday now gets exactly what he wanted: a new deal with the Celtics.

The two-time All-Star and NBA champion guard was seeking assurance from the Celtics that they indeed wanted him around long-term instead of being a rental player during their championship this season, league sources told ClutchPoints. As a result, Holiday and his agent, Jason Glushon of Glushon Sports Management, sought to find common ground on a fair extension given the veteran’s contributions.

Celtics, Jrue Holiday Agree to Four-Year Contract Extension, per Report

Set to make $30.1 million during the 2024-25 season on a new extension that increases by about $2.41 million per season, Holiday was also awarded flexibility with a player option for the 2027-28 season, sources confirmed to ClutchPoints.

Holiday got the assurance he was looking for from the Celtics, and now this organization can continue to move forward with options on how to construct their roster long-term while also competing for championships.

Celtics’ long-term flexibility with Jrue Holiday

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens talks during Boston Celtics Media Day.David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Stevens deserves a ton of credit for the job he has done leading the Celtics’ front office. Aside from all the trades he has made and turning this roster around into one that can compete for a title, Stevens has done a fantastic job at reassuring the Celtics’ stars.

Brown was given an extension last summer that will see him make over $280 million through the 2028-29 season, with an annual average value of roughly $57 million per season. Porzingis, who joined the Celtics in an offseason trade, was given a two-year, $60 million extension upon his arrival that sees him with the team through the 2025-26 season. Tatum will be getting a massive extension like Brown in a matter of time, and Holiday’s deal is the latest at four years and $135 million.

This is a lot of money for the Celtics to tie themselves down to, especially with the league’s new penalties associated with teams that own a high payroll. The key for the Celtics while making all of these deals was maintaining flexibility and options, something Stevens has set his organization up for.

What makes Boston such a unique situation from a contract standpoint is that all of their players are valuable. Tatum and Brown don’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon, but the team could ultimately look to move off of either player whenever they would like to, regardless of the price on their contract. The same can be said about White, who has become one of the better two-way guards in the league.

Then there is Holiday, who has a proven track record of success and a large contract that only matters to the Celtics in the short term. The main goal in Boston right now is to win championships. With all the talent that highlights this roster, the Celtics are clearly the title favorites this season. As soon as this belief of winning titles stops, the Celtics will be able to instantly move out of these bigger contracts and help fill the gaps they have on their roster outside of the starting five.

Making long-term investments right now allows the Celtics to compete for as many titles as they can while they have a plethora of talent. When the time comes, Stevens and the Celtics front office will be able to make the hard decisions and part ways with certain contracts they own. Until then, Boston will remain the favorites to raise their 18th banner in team history, especially after keeping Holiday on a new long-term deal.

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