New Orleans Pelicans G Jrue Holiday has been discussed in trade talks recently and several contending teams are involved, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported early Wednesday morning. Holiday has two years left on his current contract with a player option for 2021-22. He is set to make around $26 million this upcoming season.
This isn’t the first time Holiday’s name has popped up in trade rumors. After the Pelicans acquired Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram from the Lakers in the Anthony Davis trade, many believed that the Pels could try to move the veteran guard to create more cap space to bring in another max contract. The team knew it was selecting Zion Williamson with the No. 1 overall pick in 2019. With Zion, Lonzo and Ingram all on cheaper deals, adding another All-Star while Williamson is on a rookie deal made the most sense. It seems that could be the direction the team is heading now.
Once upon a time, Holiday was an All-Star back in 2014 with the Sixers. He’s coming off another decent season, averaging 19.1 points with 6.7 assists over 61 starts in 2019-20. Holiday is a plus-defender and is always among the leaders in steals per game (1.6 last season). New Orleans would have Ball, JJ Redick and Hart in the backcourt if Holiday is dealt and a guard doesn’t come back the other way. The Pelicans could look to deal Holiday to add a center with Derrick Favors set to become an unrestricted free agent.
It was a while ago, but the Nuggets were one of the teams that appeared to make sense for Holiday. Gary Harris has clearly fallen off for Mike Malone as we saw in the playoffs. Holiday wouldn’t be a bad backcourt partner for the emerging All-Star in Jamal Murray. Holiday would also be a third or fourth option for Denver behind Murray, Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr.
The Pistons are another team that comes to mind. They could use a starting guard and will have plenty of cap space when the calendar flips to 2020-21. Detroit doesn’t have a ton of assets but this would be more of a salary-shedding move for NOLA. I know Detroit isn’t a contender, but these things don’t always play out the way its being reported.