Why can't Lakers trade for Jrue Holiday? Key reason explored as Purple and Gold fans get their hopes quashed
On Wednesday, Jrue Holiday found himself out of the Milwaukee Bucks, as the franchise sent him to the Portland Trail Blazers as part of the three-team trade that sent Damian Lillard to the Bucks. Holiday moved to Portland along with Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara, a draft pick (2029) and draft swaps (2028, 2030), while the Phoenix Suns got Jusuf Nurkic and another three players.
Following the trade, which transformed Milwaukee into the grand favorite for the championship, rumors and reports surfaced about where Jrue Holiday would be traded next. Several contenders in the East and West emerged as candidates to land him.
One of those teams, however, will not be the LA Lakers and the main reason is that only three players are available for a trade at the moment: LeBron James, Max Cristie and Jalen Hood-Schifino. Obviously, the Blazers will have no interest in landing Cristie and Hood-Scifino, while there is no chance the 17-time NBA champions will trade James.
At the same time, Jrue Holiday has two years and $72.2 million left on his current deal and is set to earn $34.9 million this year. He also has a player option for the 2024-25 season, worth $37.3 million. The only chance he could get traded to the Lakers is if he is still available by December 15, when a handful of the team's players, like D'Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura, become available for a trade.
Of course, this news created mixed reactions from Lakers fans, with a couple of them suggesting that the team should not pursue any other trades, but instead focus on the current roster and help build chemistry.
Blazers aim to trade Jrue Holiday as soon as possible
The Portland Trail Blazers are not inclined to keep Jrue Holiday on their roster and aim to trade him as soon as possible. They are in rebuild mode and want to support their young core, following the addition of former No.1 pick Deandre Ayton.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports:
"The Blazers remain engaged elsewhere on deals and are expected to immediately engage contending teams on trade talks to move on Jrue Holiday, sources tell ESPN. Portland is committed to its young group of talented guards."
Per the initial reports, the Philadelphia 76ers, LA Clippers and the Miami Heat are already among the candidates to land Holiday, as the Blazers look to trade him to a contender. Thus, we should expect things to move quickly and Holiday to start the season elsewhere.
Holiday is coming off an NBA season where he averaged 19.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg and 7.4 apg in 67 games, while shooting 38.4 percent from beyond the arc.