The Milwaukee Bucks are making sure that Jrue Holiday isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. After trading for the defensive-mind point guard during the offseason, the two sides have agreed to a four-year maximum contract extension worth up to $160 million, according to Holiday’s agent, via The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The new deal includes a player option in the final year, per Charania.
Holiday’s having arguably the best season of his career, averaging 17 points, 5.4 assists and 1.8 steals per game, the latter of which is second best in the league. He’s also shooting a career-high 50.9 percent from the field and 39 percent from 3-point territory. His defensive presence on the perimeter is why Milwaukee traded for him in the first place, as he serves as an upgrade to both George Hill and Eric Bledsoe, the two guards he replaced in the trade.
The 12-year veteran was set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2021-22 season, but this new maximum extension means he’ll be locked in for a long time with the Bucks. Holiday’s fit in Milwaukee has done wonders for his game, Giannis’ and the Bucks as a whole. It was evident just how important Holiday had become to this Bucks squad after he was sidelined for 10 games, in which they went just 5-5. During that span, the Bucks ranked 17th in defense and 10th on offense. But when Holiday plays, they have a top five offense in the league as well as a top 10 defense.
He gives Milwaukee another creator on offense in addition to Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, taking some of the offensive workload off those two stars on a nightly basis. In return, Holiday doesn’t have to be relied upon so heavily like he was in New Orleans, so his turnover percentage has dropped to a career low (12.2 percent), and his usage percentage is the lowest since his third year in the league (21.4 percent).
Holiday has been the perfect balance for the Bucks, and vice versa, and although this Milwaukee team isn’t racking up wins at the rate it has in the past couple seasons, it looks more capable of getting over that hump to make the NBA Finals. The Bucks signing Holiday to a four-year extension, in addition to having Giannis and Middleton locked into long-term contracts — just helps them stay in the championship conversation for years to come.
Courtesy: CBS Sports