That didn’t take long. The Portland Trail Blazers were expected to move Jrue Holiday after acquiring him in the Damian Lillard trade with the Bucks, and that has now come to fruition; Holiday is bound for another East contender in the Boston Celtics. As a result, the Celtics have bounded up the odds boards and are now viewed as the Bucks’ equal. Let’s dive into NBA Championship odds for the Celtics and how acquiring Jrue Holiday has impacted their chances at taking home the NBA title in 2023-24.
NBA Championship Odds: Holiday Trade Draws Celtics, Bucks Even
Jrue Holiday Trade Details
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 1, 2023
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
Boston Celtics NBA Championship Odds: +400
This was obviously a major campaign for the Celtics, who lost Marcus Smart this offseason and were perhaps looking a little thin in the backcourt. Now, they did swap a key guard in Brogdon to get Holiday, but Holiday allows for more lineup flexibility and also provides an upgrade in scoring, playmaking and defense. The Celtics can now go bigger with Holiday at one of the guard spots and also do not have to put their two offensive engines, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, into tough wing matchups on defense if they do not want to.
The Williams loss may be a bit harder to stomach, especially now that the Celtics primary bigs are an aging Al Horford and an injury-prone Kristaps Porzingis. However, both the Celtics and linemakers view it as a worthwhile gamble.
NBA championship betting markets are viewing the replacement of Smart in the starting lineup with Holiday at the expense of Brogdon and Williams as the missing piece for Boston. The Celtics are currently dead even with the Bucks for the best championship odds in the NBA on DraftKings (+400), with the Nuggets and Suns narrowly behind at +500 and +600, respectively.
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Portland Trail Blazers NBA Championship Odds: +25000
This trade did not move the needle for Portland in terms of its NBA championship odds, but that was to be expected. For one, the assumption was that the Trail Blazers would not have Holiday for very long, so that coming true was not going to bump them up barring something completely unexpected. Two, this is clearly a futures move, with the Blazers grabbing two first-round picks, though it is to be seen how valuable those picks will end up being. The Warriors should be a playoff team this year, after all, and the unprotected Celtics pick is more than half a decade down the road.
The “now” additions of Williams and Brogdon are somewhat impactful but also quite risky. Neither has been the symbol of health, with Brogdon having one 60-game season in his last four and Williams coming off a 35-game 2022-23. That said, both were solid contributors for a great Boston team when on the floor, and Brogdon took home Sixth Man of the Year last season. And with Portland turning the backcourt over to Shaedon Sharpe, Anfernee Simons and Scoot Henderson, Brogdon’s strongest addition may be a veteran presence for those young players while also playing good minutes off the bench.