Grade the trade: Blazers add to Lillard haul, deal Jrue Holiday to Celtics

Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Portland Trail Blazers got Robert Williams III from the Boston Celtics in the Jrue Holiday trade.
Robert Williams III, Boston Celtics (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Trail Blazers get Celtics’ Robert Williams III as centerpiece of Jrue Holiday trade

Portland added two more first-round picks to the one it got from Milwaukee, along with Williams and guard Malcolm Brogdon.

Cronin could end up flipping Brogdon in a similar way he did Holiday, as the 30-year-old former Rookie of the Year would siphon minutes from Scoot, Sharpe and Simons, as well.

Williams is the centerpiece of the deal from a player perspective. When healthy, the former Texas A&M standout is one of the best rim-protectors in the NBA. The 25-year-old has averaged 1.7 blocks per season during his five years in the league.

When he started 61 games for the Celtics in 2021-22, he swatted away 2.2 shots a night.

The most significant issue surrounding Williams is his injury history. Throughout his career, he’s dealt with knee, hamstring, ankle, hip and back problems, among others.

If healthy, though, Williams could pair with Ayton to create a versatile frontcourt. Ayton’s more skilled offensively, while Williams is an explosive shot blocker and rebounder. Both are good fits as pick-and-roll partners and lob threats alongside Henderson and/or Simons.

Two more first-round picks – one unprotected in 2029 and one lightly protected this year – add to the Blazers’ staple of future assets that include Milwaukee’s 2029 unprotected first and potential pick swaps in 2028 and 2030.