Since the departure of Anthony Davis from their team last summer, the New Orleans Pelicans seem to be struggling. As they continue to perform poorly in the 2019-20 NBA season, rumors are circulating that they have started to listen to trade offers for another key contributor on their team — veteran point guard Jrue Holiday. Several NBA teams are expected to express a strong interest in acquiring Holiday before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline, including the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Though Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins are establishing an impressive performance for the ‘Wolves this season, Minnesota still needs to make some major upgrades to their roster in order to become a legitimate threat in the deep Western Conference. As of now, one of the areas that the Timberwolves need to improve is their backcourt. With their No. 1 trade target — Golden State Warriors point guard D’Angelo Russell — unlikely to be available on the trade market anytime soon, Frank Urbina of HoopsHype suggested that the ‘Wolves should go after Holiday.
“A lot of the rumors surrounding the Timberwolves over the past six months have connected them to Golden State Warriors point guard D’Angelo Russell, but Minnesota would be wise to look at Holiday as a potential target as well. Holiday doesn’t need the ball in his hands a ton to excel, meaning he wouldn’t take too many possessions away from Towns and Wiggins, and his defense on the outside is exactly what the Timberwolves could use to turn things around and make a push for the playoffs.”
Trading for Holiday won’t immediately turn the Timberwolves into an instant title contender, but pairing him with Towns and Wiggins would undeniably strengthen their chance of returning to the Western Conference Playoffs in the 2019-20 NBA season. Aside from being a great defender in the perimeter, Holiday would also give Minnesota a very reliable option on the offensive end of the floor. This season, the 29-year-old point guard is averaging 19.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.7 steals while shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 34.2 percent from beyond the arc.
What makes Holiday a more intriguing fit with the Timberwolves is his ability to excel in an off-ball capacity. With the years he spent playing with Davis in New Orleans, Holiday shouldn’t have a hard time building chemistry with Towns and Wiggins on the court.
To acquire Holiday, Urbina suggested that the ‘Wolves should be willing to sacrifice either Jarrett Culver or Josh Okogie, at least. To make their offer more appealing to the Pelicans, Minnesota may also need to add future draft picks to the trade package, as well as Jeff Teague’s expiring contract for salary matching purposes.
Holiday may not have shown any strong indication that he’s not happy with the Pelicans, but at this point in his NBA career, most people believe that he would be better off playing for a legitimate playoff contender than wasting his prime on a rebuilding team. Aside from the Timberwolves, other NBA teams who Urbina has included on his list of potential trade destinations for Holiday are the Miami Heat, the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Dallas Mavericks.