The Los Angeles Clippers team that is led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George is currently putting on an impressive performance in the 2019-20 NBA season, sitting at the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference with a 21-8 record. Though they are emerging among the heavy favorites to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy this season, some people believe that the Clippers should continue to find ways to improve their current roster before the February trade deadline. According to Frank Urbina of HoopsHype, one of their potential trade targets this season should be Jrue Holiday of the New Orleans Pelicans.
After months of telling everyone in the league that they have no intention of parting ways with Holiday, rumors have recently surfaced that the Pelicans are finally starting to listen to trade offers for the veteran point guard. If they want to improve their chances of beating their top Western Conference rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, in a best-of-seven series, targeting a player like Holiday on the trade market makes a lot of sense for the Clippers.
Holiday would undeniably be an incredible addition to the Clippers as he would be upgrading the position that currently belongs to Patrick Beverley. Aside from being a great defender, Holiday is also a very reliable contributor on the offensive end of the floor. This season, the 29-year-old point guard is averaging 19.5 points, five rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 1.7 steals while shooting 44.6 percent from the field and 33.6 percent from beyond the arc.
Despite giving up a ton of assets to acquire George from the Oklahoma City Thunder last summer, the Clippers still have some players and draft picks left that they could surrender to New Orleans in exchange for Holiday. As Urbina noted, bringing the 29-year-old guard to Los Angeles would be “tricky” but not entirely “impossible.”
“Any potential Holiday package will need to include Landry Shamet or L.A.’s 2020 first-round pick (it’s not like the Clippers need those with how stacked their roster is), as well as multiple other pieces (like Moe Harkless and Ivica Zubac) to make the salary swaps work. It would be tricky, and New Orleans would probably need to send a second cheap player like Jahlil Okafor or Kenrich Williams in return, but it wouldn’t be impossible.”
Considering how the Pelicans value Holiday, they would likely demand both Shamet and a future first-round pick from the Clippers. Trading Holiday means that New Orleans is finally willing to take a different route — acquiring yet another young and promising talent in Shamet together with a future draft asset would help them speed up the rebuilding process.