Holiday, 30, is one of the league’s best defensemen and one of the best players in the commercial market. He’s one of the few guards in the league who doesn’t represent a downgrade from Bledsoe when it comes to perimeter defense, and his size makes him more versatile. More importantly, Holiday is a massive upgrade at the other end of the field. For two consecutive seasons, Milwaukee’s dominant regular-season offense looked stilted and predictable against the elite playoff defense. It needed more play, and Holiday provides just that, while only reinforcing its defense identity first. Last season, he averaged 19.1 points, 6.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds for the Pelicans.
Hill was one of the league’s best reserves last season, and the Bucks sacrificed some depth by swapping two rotational players for one. This is an issue that the front office must address as the offseason progresses, as does the need for more shoots. Holiday is a decent but not great shooter, which is to be expected for the course of this Milwaukee roster. Hill was an exception to that – he made 46% of his 3s last season.
By giving up so many picks, the Bucks sent a message to franchise player Giannis Antetokounmpo: they’re all-in to win a championship next season. The question, however, is whether or not that will be enough to convince Antetokounmpo to stay in Milwaukee. He can sign a supermax extension this offseason or become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2021.
From New Orleans’ perspective, the deal adds to their already huge collection of draft picks. David Griffin’s front office got all they could from the Los Angeles Lakers in Anthony Davis’ business in the summer of 2019 and also did an impressive job maximizing the business value of Holiday. We won’t know exactly how important this transportation will be for years to come, when choices have been made or moved elsewhere. If Antetokounmpo leaves the Bucks, that would obviously make them a lot more valuable.
In the meantime, Bledsoe and Hill will help the Pelicans stay competitive next season, assuming neither have returned to another team.