With the New Orleans Pelicans mired in a slump that has seen them lose 13 straight games and drop to 14th in the Western Conference with a 6-22 win-loss record, the latest rumors suggest that the team is now willing to entertain offers for their best veteran player, starting guard Jrue Holiday.
In a series of tweets posted on Tuesday, New York Times NBA insider Marc Stein wrote that the Pelicans, despite what was then a 12-game losing streak, still have no plans to move veteran shooting guard J.J. Redick, who has frequently been mentioned in trade rumors as a potential target for teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers. Likewise, forwards Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson — the latter of whom has yet to make his NBA debut due to knee problems — were both described as the team’s two “presumed untouchables.”
Given how the aforementioned players likely won’t be going anywhere before the February trade deadline, Stein stressed that per league sources, Holiday is now “available via trade.” He warned, however, that other teams may have to give up a “significant amount” in order to acquire the combo guard from New Orleans, adding that this still represents a “notable” change from last year, when he was generally considered off-limits to rival organizations.
Commenting on the latest update from Stein, CBS Sports wrote that it’s not surprising Holiday is apparently on the trade market, as the Pelicans don’t seem likely to make the playoffs this season, with the current campaign looking like a “lost cause” due to the ongoing slump and Williamson’s injury problems. The outlet added that Holiday, despite his experience and skill level, does not fit the timeline of the building blocks New Orleans acquired in recent seasons via trades and the draft — particularly Ingram, Williamson, guards Lonzo Ball and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and center Jaxson Hayes.
Jrue Holiday makes a nice block and regains Pelicans possession for your Heads Up Play of the Day! pic.twitter.com/5YXmHBcfZ7
— NBA TV (@NBATV) December 18, 2019
Per Basketball-Reference, Holiday ranks right behind Ingram as the Pelicans’ second-leading scorer, with an average of 19.4 points per game as of Sunday. He is also averaging five rebounds and a team-leading 6.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game.
Although Stein did not go into the specifics of what the Pelicans may consider significant enough to part ways with Holiday, the 29-year-old point guard has been linked to a number of opposing teams over the past few weeks. These include the Miami Heat, who, per a recently suggested trade, could acquire Holiday by giving up a trade package anchored by rookie guards Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn, with some veterans serving as “filler” to match salaries with New Orleans.