Holiday, the veteran New Orleans Pelicans guard, would be a key upgrade for Milwaukee as the Bucks await Giannis Antetokounmpo’s decision on signing an extension.
The Milwaukee Bucks, under immense pressure to upgrade their roster to persuade Giannis Antetokounmpo to pledge his long-term future to the franchise, arranged a bold trade late Monday to acquire the in-demand Jrue Holiday from the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Bucks have agreed to send a hefty package of picks and veterans to the Pelicans to beat out several teams interested in Holiday, according to two people with knowledge of the transaction who were not authorized to discuss it publicly. The package includes the veteran guards Eric Bledsoe and George Hill; three future first-round draft picks; and the right to swap two more future first-round picks.
The move, first reported by The Athletic, does not come without tremendous risk for the Bucks. They face a Dec. 21 deadline to sign Antetokounmpo to a so-called supermax five-year contract extension expected to exceed $230 million. Antetokounmpo, 25, won the N.B.A.’s Most Valuable Player Award the past two seasons. Milwaukee will not automatically lose Antetokounmpo, if he declines to sign the extension, but that scenario would set him up to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020-21 season. Holiday, 30, who has just one guaranteed season left on his contract, can also become a free agent next summer.