Milwaukee Bucks: Regrading the Jrue Holiday trade almost a year later

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 05 (Photo by Steven Ryan /Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 05 (Photo by Steven Ryan /Getty Images) /
1 of 3
Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – MAY 24 (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

It hasn’t even been a full calendar year since the Milwaukee Bucks traded for Jrue Holiday from the New Orleans Pelicans for Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, and every draft pick imaginable. The Bucks also received Sam Merrill in that trade as well. But what an eventful nine months it has been for the guard and the team.

In that timeframe, Holiday signed his massive contract extension, made First Team All-Defense, won an NBA championship, and capped it off with an Olympic gold medal just over a month later. It’s assuredly one of the craziest years in Holiday’s life, and it all started late in November with the trade to the Bucks.

More from Bucks News

I was at home when the trade happened, had gotten off work a few hours earlier, and was ready to play some video games to relax. Just as I was about to start, a friend of mine called me to tell me the Bucks traded for Holiday. I was excited but mostly confused. I didn’t know what the return was yet, but I was excited about getting a player like Holiday on the Bucks.

I’m sure most fans were a little hesitant when the full return was released and how many draft picks were being given up. Especially so knowing that Holiday only had one year left on his contract and, more importantly, so did Giannis Antetokounmpo.

In the initial grading of this trade, our Dalton Sell gave this deal a B letter grade. However, the massive caveat was that there was still the impending uncertainty of Antetokounmpo’s supermax extension. However, I’m sure my colleague would bump that grade way up if he knew for certain that Giannis would sign the extension soon after.

But we all know how the rest played out, and Holiday is, as he put it, ”a Buck for life.” But even with all of the success from the trade, how does it look almost a year later? It’s about time we take a look back and truly make sure that this was a success for the Bucks.

The financial impact of the Jrue Holiday trade almost a year later for the Milwaukee Bucks

Holiday had one year left on his contract when he was traded to the Bucks, which added some risk into the move as there was no guarantee he would re-sign. He would make just over $27 million, which made him the third-highest paid Buck behind only Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton; who was actually the highest-paid player on the Bucks last season.

It wasn’t a huge salary, but it meant that they’d have to extend him in order to maximize the full value of the trade. At the moment I remember being a bit wary of trading for a player in the last year of their contract, but I don’t think they’d have made that trade without having a good sense that Holiday would re-sign with the team.

And then he did! Holiday eventually signed a four-year extension with the team, totaling at least $134 million, and will be paid over $30 million this coming season — still the third-highest paid player on the team. It’s obviously a large financial commitment, but it’s well worth the price after seeing what Holiday brought to the team in both the regular season and then in the playoffs.

Another part of the financial aspect of this trade was moving on from Eric Bledsoe’s contract in the same trade. Despite being another two-time All-Defense guard, Bledsoe had his struggles in the playoffs and just never was able to truly fit in with this team.

People might say the Bucks overpaid financially for Holiday, but it’s not our money and Holiday showed just how valuable he is during the championship run.