Brad Stevens Discusses Celtics' Motivations to Extend Jrue Holiday

Feb 13, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA;  Boston Celtics guard Jrue Holiday (4) shoots vs. the Brooklyn Nets.
Feb 13, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jrue Holiday (4) shoots vs. the Brooklyn Nets. / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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The Boston Celtics and Jrue Holiday recently agreed on a four-year, $135 million contract extension. Entering the final year of his $37.3 million player option, the two-time All-Star declined the final year of his deal, and his new extension will take effect next season. 

At the Auerbach Center on Tuesday, Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens discussed the franchise's motivations to keep Holiday in the fold for the long term.

“I think we all can see it; Jrue came here, joined our team, and all he tried to do was add to winning,” Stevens said. “And for a guy that’s as accomplished as he is, that’s as used to more usage, more reps, more touches, and all those other things, that never even came into play.”

Holiday averaged 12.5 points this season, the fewest since his rookie year. In his final campaign with the Milwaukee Bucks, the Olympic gold medalist produced north of 19 points per contest and was an All-Star who had the ball far more frequently.

But despite having the lowest usage rate of his career, the former UCLA Bruin has thrived in the offensive role the Celtics ask him to fulfill. A prime example is that excluding D.J. Wilson, who played in two games this season, Holiday's 60.4 percent conversion rate on corner threes is tops in the league, per NBA.com.

At the other end of the floor, the five-time All-Defensive Team selection quarterbacks Boston's defense, with his responsibilities ranging from wreaking havoc in the middle of their zone to guarding the likes of Joel Embiid and Julius Randle.

“All that came into play was, ‘What kind of a teammate am I being,’ and ‘Can I help us win,’” Stevens said. “I just think that when you look at the kind of player that he is, what he’s capable of on any given night, but also the fact that he can play off the ball and be as effective as he’s been, I just think it shows another layer of what a guy can do. I’ve been really impressed with Jrue.”

The Celtics' president of basketball operations continued, “And I think that as you look at a person like him and you think about the long-term of a group, you think, obviously, you need really good players and guys that can play on both ends of the court. But you also want people that the young players can look up to. And he is a person they should look up to, and certainly do look up to.”

Further Reading

Brad Stevens Notes Crucial Element of Celtics' Title Pursuit: 'Bigger Than Themselves'

After Career Night, Reflective Payton Pritchard Discusses NBA Journey and His Ultimate Pursuit

'Nip That in the Bud': Celtics Address End-of-Season Struggles

Jrue Holiday on Celtics Extension: 'Try to Get More Banners, Get More Rings'

Aiming to Maximize Championship Window, Celtics Extend Jrue Holiday

Jaylen Brown Shares What Latest Milestone Means to Him

Celtics Embracing Challenge to Go Beyond Most Talented

Jayson Tatum Opens Up About Sacrificing in Celtics' Title Pursuit: 'It's a Process'

Celtics Maturation Molded by Experience: 'It Builds, Like, an Armor'

Joe Mazzulla Discusses Identity, Evolution of Celtics' Offense: 'Balance of Pace and Execution'


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Bobby Krivitsky

BOBBY KRIVITSKY

Bobby Krivitsky's experiences include covering the NBA as a credentialed reporter for Basketball Insiders. He's also a national sports talk host for SportsMap Radio, a network airing on 96 radio stations throughout the country. Additionally, he was a major-market host, update anchor, and producer for IMG Audio, and he worked for Bleacher Report as an NFL and NBA columnist.