As they continue to struggle in the 2019-20 NBA season, rumors have started to circulate around veteran point guard Jrue Holiday and his future with the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans are yet to make Holiday officially available on the trading block, but multiple signs are pointing to New Orleans moving him before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. Though most people see him joining a legitimate title contender, the latest NBA rumors suggest Holiday heading to another struggling team in the Western Conference – the Minnesota Timberwolves.
In the proposed trade deal by Andrew Ites of Fansided’s Dunking With Wolves, the Timberwolves would be sending a trade package including Jeff Teague, Gorgui Dieng, Jarrett Culver, and a future first-round pick to the Pelicans in exchange for Holiday. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. If the trade becomes a reality, it would help both NBA teams in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.
Though it would require them to throw away plenty of valuable trade assets, trading for Holiday makes a lot of sense for the Timberwolves, especially if they are still aiming to compete for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Despite the impressive performance of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins almost every night, the Timberwolves still struggled to consistently win games in the 2019-20 NBA season. As of now, the Timberwolves have lost nine of their last 10 games and are sitting in the No. 13 spot in the Western Conference with an 11-20 record.
Successfully acquiring Holiday from the Pelicans could help the Timberwolves turn things around this season. Holiday would be an incredible addition to the Timberwolves, giving them another offensive firepower next to Towns and Wiggins. This season, the 29-year-old point guard is averaging 19.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 1.8 steals while shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from beyond the arc.
As Ites noted, Holiday would be a perfect fit in Minnesota. With his ability to excel even without the ball in his hands, Ites believes that Holiday won’t have a hard time building chemistry with ball-dominant players like Towns and Wiggins.
“Jrue Holiday’s ability to play off-the-ball would make him a good fit alongside Towns and Andrew Wiggins, and his defense at the point guard position would help a team that has struggled mightily on that end of the floor during this losing streak. No trade is going to be perfect, but the Wolves could really benefit from a deal with this framework. Minnesota could also throw in some draft compensation if New Orleans is wary of taking on those big contracts.”
Meanwhile, in exchange for Holiday, the Pelicans would be acquiring a young and promising talent in Culver and a future first-round pick that could help them speed up the rebuilding process. With the team not expected to contend for the NBA championship title anytime soon, the Pelicans definitely won’t mind absorbing the two years and $33.4 million left on Dieng’s contract.