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#pounditTuesday, May 21, 2024

Report: 76ers eyeing reunion with their former All-Star via trade

The Philadelphia 76ers logo at center court

Mar 14, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers logo on the hardwood court against the San Antonio Spurs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers may be getting thrown a lifeline by the Damian Lillard trade.

Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice reported Tuesday that the 76ers are interested in acquiring Jrue Holiday, their former point guard of long ago. Holiday just got traded by the Milwaukee Bucks to the Portland Trail Blazers as part of the Lillard blockbuster and is expected to be re-routed by Portland.

Now 33 years old, Holiday was originally drafted by the 76ers in 2009 (No. 17 overall). He played the first four seasons of his career in Philly and even blossomed into an NBA All-Star with them in 2013. But Holiday was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans after the 2012-13 campaign as the 76ers began their “Process”-era teardown, and an entire decade has gone by since then.

In 2023 however, a reunion would make plenty of sense, especially given Philly’s current James Harden situation. Holiday is making $35 million next year, which would be sufficient to match the $35.6 million that Harden has left on his contract. The rebuilding Blazers could, in theory, buy Harden out, and Harden would then be able to sign with his preferred team (in exchange for giving some money back in the buyout). Meanwhile, the 76ers would get an impactful win-now player in Holiday who could take some of the load off Joel Embiid on both ends of the floor.

While Philly still has not gotten over the second-round hump during the Embiid era, they are a perennial top-three seed who would give Holiday a puncher’s chance at competing for another ring. A reunion with them might take some sting away from the brutal timing of Tuesday’s trade for Holiday.

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