Morry Gash/Associated Press
The Milwaukee Bucks and guard Jrue Holiday agreed to a four-year contract extension worth up to $160 million Sunday.
Holiday’s agent, Jason Glushon, revealed the news to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. The deal could tie Holiday and the Bucks together through the 2024-25 season; Charania noted the final year of the contract is a player option.
An extension is the logical culmination of the Bucks’ all-in trade for Holiday this offseason. Milwaukee traded Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, the rights to R.J. Hampton, two future first-round picks and two pick swaps as part of a four-team deal that brought Holiday to Milwaukee in November.
The trade was polarizing at the time because it seemed like an extravagant haul for a player who has made only one All-Star appearance—all the way back in 2013. While Holiday is rightfully credited as one of the NBA‘s most underrated players, that type of draft-pick compensation is typically reserved for bona fide superstars.
Holiday has continued performing at a high level this season, averaging 17.0 points, 5.4 assists and 4.6 rebounds. He has seemed to kick his play into a higher gear over the last couple of weeks since recovering from COVID-19, scoring a season-high 33 points in Saturday’s win over the Sacramento Kings.
There is no question Holiday makes the Bucks a more viable NBA championship threat than they were a year ago.
However, it remains to be seen if that bump is enough to put the Bucks over the top in the postseason after two straight years of frustrating exits. It’s also fair to wonder how the extension will age, as it takes Holiday through his 35th birthday.
While his game does not necessarily rely on athleticism, a natural decline in athleticism is bound to take place and make him a less effective two-way player. If Holiday isn’t quite an All-Star at age 30, it’s fair to wonder how paying him $80-plus million will look on the Bucks’ cap when he’s 34 and 35.
All bets are off if the Bucks bring a title back to Milwaukee, but the team has pushed all of its chips to the center of the table with the Giannis Antetokounmpo-Khris Middleton-Holiday core in place for the foreseeable future.