Report: Pacers had trade interest in Jrue Holiday last summer, weren't on his list of ideal destinations

The Pacers reportedly had interest in the All-Star
May 23, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jrue Holiday (4) dribbles the ball past Indiana Pacers guard Ben Sheppard (26) in the first half during game two of the eastern conference finals for the 2024 NBA playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
May 23, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jrue Holiday (4) dribbles the ball past Indiana Pacers guard Ben Sheppard (26) in the first half during game two of the eastern conference finals for the 2024 NBA playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from Brian Windhorst in ESPN, the Indiana Pacers had trade interest in star guard Jrue Holiday last offseason after he was sent to the Portland Trail Blazers.

However, according to Windhorst, Holiday made a list of destinations where he would be happy going for the next stage of his career. Indiana, despite their interest in the veteran guard, was not on the list.

"When the call [with his agent] was over, there was a list of five or six teams. Portland was made aware, and the bidding commenced. Several teams armed with draft pick assets that would've been attractive to the Blazers called only to be told they weren't on the list. This included the Pacers and the New York Knicks, teams that later made big in-season trades and had long playoff runs. But the Blazers stuck to Holiday's list," Windhort reported.

Holiday said later that Portland blessed him, and he was happy with the outcome of the deal. Ultimately, he was sent from the Trail Blazers to the Boston Celtics, who are now in the NBA Finals after beating the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The two-time All-Star signed a four-year, $134.4 million dollar contract extension with the Celtics in early April.

Both of Holiday's brothers, Justin and Aaron, have played for the Pacers in the past. Jrue would have paired well with Indiana and fit next to Tyrese Haliburton, but the franchise was able to acquire Pascal SIakam via trade in January instead.

Jrue Holiday has always been a favorite of Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle. Carlisle gushed about the guard after he scored 51 points against Indiana in March of 2023, going as far as asking if there are five better players than Holiday in the league.

"Guy's an amazing player on both sides of the ball," Carlisle said of Holiday at the time.

Zach Lowe reported in ESPN last year that the Pacers were expected to have trade interest in Holiday. Now, more reporting suggests that they did, but the issue was not with their interest or their trade offer. In the end, every team is happy with how the transaction shook out.

Holiday is in the NBA Finals, the Trail Blazers got a solid return for Holiday (and, more broadly, Damian Lillard), the Milwaukee Bucks landed Lillard, and the Pacers held their assets for the right player at the right time. In the end, everyone made out well from Milwaukee's initial decision to trade Holiday to Portland and the subsequent fallout.

Windhorst's entire story on moves involving Holiday can be found here.


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Tony East

TONY EAST

Tony East is the Publisher of AllPacers. He has previously written for Forbes Sports, the West Indianapolis Community News, WTHR, and more while hosting the Locked On Pacers podcast.