BOSTON — After years of keeping the core group intact, the Boston Celtics made a flurry of changes this offseason. That was capped off just two days before the start of training camp when the Celtics acquired Jrue Holiday from the Portland Trail Blazers.

While Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and others were disappointed about the departures of Robert Williams and Malcolm Brogdon, especially after both Marcus Smart and Grant Williams exited earlier in the offseason, they are among those looking forward to the arrival of Holiday.

“Excited about Jrue,” Tatum said during Celtics media day on Monday. “He’s one of the most well-respected guys in the league. Great talent on both ends. Champion. We won a gold medal together. Happy to have him.”

The Celtics acquired Holiday in exchange for Robert Williams, Brogdon and a pair of first-round picks. President of basketball operations Brad Stevens confirmed it was a steep price to pay, but considers Holiday to be a “perfect fit” for the group.

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“Jrue is fantastic. A tremendous amount of respect for Jrue,” Brown said during Celtics media day at the Auerbach Center. “From somebody who he’s guarded, and I’ve had the guard, he plays with a certain force that you could just feel. He’s just super solid, man.

“And as a competitor, he’s an assassin,” Brown said. “To be playing alongside, I think it will be a tremendous honor.”

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The 33-year-old Holiday was named a 2023 NBA All-Star, which marked the second time in his career. He also won an NBA championship with the Milwaukee Bucks and is a five-time All-Defense honoree.

“Adding a guy like Jrue Holiday is going to do a lot of things for our team,” Derrick White said. “Through his whole career, he’s done so much. He’s a champion. He’s done a lot of things. So adding him, I was super excited.”

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Holiday represented the second big change in Boston this offseason. The Celtics also traded Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies in a deal that resulted in Kristaps Porzingis being traded to Boston.

Porzingis, who said he is 100% healthy, now joins a core with Tatum, Brown, White, Holiday and Al Horford. Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla shared how he is looking forward to lineup versatility and the ability to feature a double-big lineup (Porzingis, Horford) or a smaller group with both Holiday and White.

Tatum and Brown each said they’re excited about the roster.

“It’s been quite the change. A lot of new faces, a lot of new coaches,” Tatum said. “But we brought in good guys. Great people, great teammates. Obviously talented in their own right. And I think just surrounding guys that fit with each other, that complement each other and all have the same goal in common: Try to win. I think they’ve done a really good job of that. I’m excited about the team we have.”

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Brown added: “I’m excited about the year in general. I’m excited about our guys. I think we have an excellent group of guys.”

The Celtics, who begin training camp Tuesday, have the shortest odds to win the NBA championship at FanDuel Sportsbook. And they have their recent string of success along with the moves for Porzingis and Holiday to thank for that outside perception.

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images