The NBA landscape just changed in a massive way yesterday when news of Damian Lillard being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Jrue Holiday sent shockwaves across the league. For the Philadelphia 76ers, that meant that one of their rivals became an even tougher one to take down, but it also opened up a possibility they could explore sooner than later to keep up with one of their biggest competitors.
Holiday, who clearly is a dangling fit in Portland’s expected youth movement, will swiftly have a long list of teams trying to bid for his services. The Trail Blazers are expected to quickly move toward that end and find the All-Star a new home, and the 76ers are widely believed to be a potential suitor.
But what would it take for Philadelphia to make a legitimate run for Holiday?
What would it take for the 76ers to trade for Jrue Holiday?
Given the high demand for Holiday, a two-way force with championship pedigree and loads of veteran experience, the Trail Blazers would be fair to set a steep asking price for prospective bidders, to the point where even some sort of gouging would be acceptable.
Add in the fact that the general perception is that Portland took on a bit of a gamble-y return package from the Bucks for Lillard, the Blazers front office could try to double down on more secure and certain assets as some sort of safety net.
Pundits are already expecting Portland to demand at least two first-round picks or a first-rounder and a young player who can bolster their rebuild. The 76ers can meet that asking price in theory, but depending on their risk appetite, they can sweeten the pot some more to try and edge out other bidders such as Boston and Miami, among others.
Realistically, Philly will have to lure Portland with two first-round selections as the team only has Tyrese Maxey as an attractive young asset. And if the 76ers didn’t make the combo guard available for Lillard, they’re not going to start now.
Oh, and to get this out of the way, the Trail Blazers won’t be moved by a James Harden-centered package unless a third team with actual interest in him pops up amid the expected crowd for Holiday.
To be frank, the chances of Jrue Holiday ending up with the Philadelphia 76ers is actually a bit more robust than Damian Lillard’s before he ended up in Milwaukee. Fortunately for the Sixers, assuming a relatively equal playing field, they should have a bit more control on how they want to overpay for the All-Star and All-NBA Defender to secure his services.