After failing to qualify for the playoffs last season, the New Orleans Pelicans will look to bounce back under new head coach Stan Van Gundy. In order to improve their ability to contend in the ultra-competitive Western Conference, the Pelicans plan to make some moves with their roster, and one appears to involve star point guard Jrue Holiday. The Pelicans are openly discussing Holiday in trade talks and several contending teams are pursuing, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Holiday currently has two years remaining on his current contract, including a player option worth over $26 million for the 2021-22 season.
From The Athletic:
The New Orleans Pelicans are openly discussing point guard Jrue Holiday in trade talks and several contending teams are interested, sources tell The Athletic.
Holiday, who has been with the team since 2013, has been a popular name in trade discussions as the Pelicans navigate a rebuild through their younger players. Thought to be one of the better defenders at his position in the league, the one-time All-Star could bolster a contending roster.
Holiday was the 2020 NBA Teammate of the Year, so his locker-room presence is something that may be appealing to other teams. He’s coming off a 2019-20 campaign where he averaged 19.1 points, 6.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game.
This isn’t the first time Holiday’s name has popped up in trade talks as of late as the Nets and Pelicans reportedly discussed a trade involving Holiday prior to the trade deadline last season. The Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat also pursued Holiday last season. Those teams could all still have interest in acquiring the former All-Star. As an elite perimeter defender capable of playing both on and off the ball on the offensive end, Holiday’s skill set is an ideal fit for today’s game. As such, other contenders like the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers could use a player of his ilk.
While Holiday has been very valuable to the Pelicans, he would be even more so on a team set up to win immediately. The young Pelicans, who will likely try to build their team around second year star Zion Williamson, appear be a couple of years away from true contention. By trading Holiday, 30, New Orleans would likely look to add younger pieces that align better with its team timeline. Holiday, who averaged 19.1 points, 6.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game last season, still has a lot of good ball left in him, and he could ultimately prove to be a big boon to a contending team that is able to land him.
Courtesy: CBS Sports