The Milwaukee Bucks may have inadvertently decided the winner of the 2024 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks, at least according to two prominent NBA stars.

As Boston took a commanding 3-0 lead in the Finals with a 106-99 win over Dallas on Wednesday at the American Airlines Center, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid posed a question on X, formerly known as Twitter, that caught the attention of Warriors forward Draymond Green.

Green, on the latest episode of his podcast, “The Draymond Green Show,” responded to Embiid’s question by explaining why the Bucks’ decision to trade guard Jrue Holiday to the Portland Trail Blazers last offseason, before he eventually landed with the Celtics, provided Boston with the crucial piece they needed to win the championship.

“The answer to Joel’s question is yes, they actually did because they traded Jrue away and I just think like you got to find [a way] and do all you can to keep Jrue because Jrue can guard bigger,” Green explained. “Jrue can play off the ball, on the ball, there’s no mismatch with Jrue and [Damian Lillard].”

“I think there’s some other things Milwaukee could have done to keep Jrue. But yes, they did [give Boston the championship] … Joel Embiid’s question that he knew the answer to is absolutely correct. It did give them the championship and Boston has done the job of putting it together. You got to give those guys credit … but he gave it to them.”

The Bucks originally traded Holiday to the Blazers in a deal that brought eight-time NBA All-Star Damian Lillard to Milwaukee. Portland then traded Holiday to Boston, and the rest is history.

In 73 games this season, Holiday averaged 24.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game while playing lockdown defense for the Celtics.

Holiday, along with the acquisition of 7-foot-2 center Kristaps Porzingis in a three-team trade last offseason, fortified an already impressive roster that now has Boston one win away from hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Draymond Green’s analysis underscores the impact of Milwaukee’s offseason moves. The Bucks’ decision to trade Holiday not only altered their own trajectory but also significantly strengthened a key rival in the Eastern Conference. As the Celtics stand on the brink of a championship, the ripple effects of that trade have become undeniably clear.

Boston’s dominance in the Finals, coupled with their strategic roster enhancements, exemplifies how one transaction can shift the balance of power in the NBA. Whether the Bucks foresaw this outcome or not, their decision to trade Holiday has indeed played a pivotal role in shaping the 2024 NBA Finals.



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