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) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, Phoenix Suns: Chris Paul
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – JULY 08: (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

The on-court fit for the Jrue Holiday trade almost a year later for the Milwaukee Bucks

It’s safe to say that the first year with Holiday meshing with the Bucks core was a huge success. Although it took a couple of months for the team and Holiday to find their footing with each other and figure out how to make it work, it looked great once they did.

Holiday in particular had arguably the best season of his career from an efficiency standpoint. He set career-highs in field goal percentage (50.3 percent), 3 point percentage (39.2 percent, almost five attempts per game), effective field goal percentage (57.0 percent), and true shooting percentage (59.2 percent). It was “only” the third-highest scoring season of his career at 17.7 points per game, but he took on a lessened scoring role behind Antetokounmpo and Middleton, which seemingly also boosted his efficiency.

Holiday’s chemistry with Antetokounmpo took a little longer to build than it did with Middleton, but he still found his way to mesh with the Bucks superstar. Of Holiday’s 357 total assists from last season, 132 went to Antetokounmpo or Middleton, according to He gelled in perfectly with the Bucks leading duo, which is exactly what the team envisioned when they made the move for him, while also forming one of the best trios in the NBA.

Say what you want about his offensive game in the playoffs, he still came up huge when the Bucks needed him, especially in the Eastern Conference Finals. Against the Atlanta Hawks, Holiday averaged 22 points and 10 assists over the six-game series and was undoubtedly one of the best players out on the floor.

On defense, he was an even better fit, but that was expected. Holiday is one of the best defenders in the entire league, and he showed it night in, and night out with the Bucks throughout his first season with the team. He earned First-Team All-Defense honors and without his elite defense, the Bucks don’t come close to winning the championship.

You have to be pretty special on defense for there to be a seven-minute highlight reel of your defensive efforts in a postseason run. That’s exactly what Holiday was in the 2021 playoffs: special.