NBA Rumors: Jrue Holiday Trade Could Put Miami Heat ‘Firmly’ Into ‘Championship Race’ Next Season

Jrue Holiday #11 of the New Orleans Pelicans looks for a pass against LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center.
Yong Teck Lim / Getty Images

Despite surpassing the expectations from them in the 2019-20 NBA season, the Miami Heat are still highly expected to target another superstar that would complement their duo of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. In the past months, they have already been linked to several big names who could be available on the trade and free agency market. One of the most realistic targets for the Heat in the 2020 NBA offseason is Jrue Holiday of the New Orleans Pelicans.

In his recent article, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report created a list of one offseason trade every team should think about. For the Heat, it highlighted the blockbuster deal that would bring Holiday to Florida. Although he is not yet considered a legitimate superstar in the league, Buckley strongly believes adding him to the Heat’s roster would put them “firmly” into the championship race next year.

“Jrue Holiday would be a tremendous get for this team. He can lead the offense or serve as an off-ball spacer. He plays Erik Spoelstra-approved defense. And Holiday might be obtainable if New Orleans wants to get players who better fit with Zion Williamson’s timeline. Holiday isn’t a big enough whale to warrant Tyler Herro or Bam Adebayo, but the Pels could probably walk away with Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson and Kelly Olynyk. Getting Holiday would get the Heat firmly into next season’s championship race, and even though he holds a $27 million player option for 2021-22, that wouldn’t necessarily spoil any of the franchise’s big plans for next summer.”

Jrue Holiday #11 of the New Orleans Pelicans drives the ball against the Houston Rockets at Smoothie King Center on December 29, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  Chris Graythen / Getty Images

Holiday would still be an incredible addition to Miami. He would give them an All-Star caliber point guard and a very reliable scoring option who could serve as their second or third fiddle alongside Butler and Adebayo. This season, the 26-year-old floor general established an impressive performance on both ends of the floor, averaging 19.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 1.7 steals while shooting 45.2 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from beyond the arc.

While he may not be on the same level as Stephen Curry, James Harden, Damian Lillard, and Kyrie Irving, Holiday might really end up being the third star that the Heat needs to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy next year. Though he’s a natural point guard, he’s also capable of excelling in an off-ball capacity, making him an excellent fit alongside a ball-dominant superstar like Butler.

Compared to other players who are expected to be available on the trading block, the Heat would no longer need to pay the king’s ransom to bring Holiday to Miami. As Buckley noted, a trade package that includes Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson, and Kelly Olynyk would most likely be enough to convince the Pelicans to engage in a blockbuster deal centered on the veteran point guard this fall.