Since the 2019-20 NBA season officially started, Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat have been establishing an impressive performance on both ends of the floor and continue to surpass expectations in the Eastern Conference. However, despite currently owning the second-best record in the Eastern Conference, most people still don’t view the Heat as a legitimate title contender in the league. In order to have a better chance of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and winning the 2020 NBA championship title, the Heat should strongly consider making major roster upgrades before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline.
According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, one of the potential trade deadline targets for the Heat is Jrue Holiday of the New Orleans Pelicans.
“Miami could raise its ceiling several stories by dealing for Jrue Holiday. He’d be an almost ideal co-star for Butler. Each can run the offense, but they don’t have to dominate the ball. Each is an absurdly effective defender, and with [Bam] Adebayo in the mix, the Heat could spring from outside the top 10 and maybe into the top five of defensive efficiency. If there’s a hangup with Holiday, it’s his $27.1 million player option for 2021-22 and what it might mean for Miami’s grandiose plans for 2021 free agency. But maybe the Heat should be more focused on the now considering Butler is 30 years old and has some high-mileage seasons behind him.”
Holiday would be a great addition to the Heat, giving them an All-Star caliber point guard who is currently in his prime. Aside from being a good defender, Holiday would also give the Heat a very reliable scoring option next to Butler. This season, the 29-year-old floor general is averaging 19.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 1.7 steals while shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 34.2 percent from beyond the arc. With the years he spent with Anthony Davis in New Orleans, Holiday definitely won’t have a hard time building chemistry with a ball-dominant superstar like Butler in South Beach.
In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Heat would be sending a trade package including Justise Winslow, Kendrick Nunn, Kelly Olynyk, Derrick Jones Jr., and a 2022 second-round pick to the Pelicans in exchange for Holiday and Frank Jackson. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. If the trade becomes a reality, it would not only be beneficial for the Heat but also for the Pelicans.
In exchange for Holiday, the Pelicans would be acquiring three young and promising talents in Winslow, Nunn, and Jones Jr. that perfectly fits the timeline of franchise cornerstone Zion Williamson. Olynyk may only be included in the deal for salary-matching purposes, but he would still be a good acquisition for the Pelicans, giving them a defensive-minded big man who is capable of knocking down shots from beyond the arc.