The New Orleans Pelicans have been perhaps the busiest team in the NBA over the past year. They traded Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers after a months-long saga, hired David Griffin as their new lead executive, won the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, selected Duke phenom Zion Williamson and, with sights set on the playoffs, signed a number of veterans in free agency.
Unfortunately, things have not gone to plan. Williamson needed knee surgery and hasn’t played this season, they’ve started out 6-21 and it appears there’s going to be a lot more business for them to attend to over the next few months.
The Pelicans are starting to think about the trade market and would be willing to move veteran point guard Jrue Holiday, according to a report from Marc Stein of the New York Times. Furthermore, Stein reported that the Pelicans are not interested in moving JJ Redick — nor Williamson and Brandon Ingram, though the latter two were a given.
Due to their poor start, which includes a current 12-game losing streak, it’s no surprise that the Pelicans have started thinking about moving Holiday. Williamson is still not on the court and they’ve dug themselves such a deep hole that the playoffs are already pretty much out of reach. Their mission was admirable, but it’s clear this season is a lost cause, and they need to consider the long-term outlook of the franchise.
With Williamson, Ingram and Lonzo Ball, as well as other youngsters such as Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, they have a lot of interesting and exciting talent. But none of them are older than 22, and their path to playoff contention is going to take years. While Holiday is a terrific player, he doesn’t fit that timeline, and it makes sense to try and move him for some younger players and more draft assets.
As Stein noted, it’s obviously going to take a major haul to get Holiday, and the Pelicans aren’t going to trade him just for the sake of trading him. But he’s still only 29 years old, and the league is as open as it’s been in many years. There figures to be numerous teams who’d believe Holiday could be the upgrade they need to jump into title contention, and would be willing to pay the price to get him.
There are still two months until the trade deadline, and an experienced executive like Griffin isn’t going to rush through this process. But don’t be surprised if you see a notification pop up sometime soon that the Pelicans have traded Holiday; it just makes too much sense for them to do so.
Courtesy: CBS Sports