In the midst of the NBA restart in the Orlando bubble, several crazy trade ideas have started to surface around the league. These include the blockbuster deal that would send Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for veteran point guard Jrue Holiday. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the McCollum-for-Holiday trade has a “win-win potential” for the Trail Blazers and the Pelicans.
Most Trail Blazers’ fans wouldn’t consider the proposed deal a fair trade for their team. Though both of them are currently making a huge impact with their respective teams, McCollum is no doubt the much better player. However, Buckley believes that agreeing to send McCollum to New Orleans for Holiday would enable the Trail Blazers to retain the offensive firepower while improving their performance on the defensive end of the floor.
“Get Holiday to Portland, and the Blazers finally have their multipurpose defender who doesn’t sink the offense one clanged jumper at a time. He isn’t the same caliber of scorer or as sharp of a shooter as McCollum, but Holiday works on or off the ball and could handle complementary duties alongside Damian Lillard. Perhaps Portland would slip a few spots from fifth in offensive efficiency, but if it launches up from 27th at the other end, it’s a substantial net upgrade.”
Holiday would be an incredible acquisition for the Trail Blazers, giving Damian Lillard a new All-Star caliber backcourt partner who would ease the load on his shoulders in terms of playmaking, scoring, and perimeter defense. This season, he’s averaging 19.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.6 steals while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.
Holiday may have spent most of his career playing as a floor general, but he likely wouldn’t have a hard time building chemistry with Lillard. In the past, he has proven that he could efficiently play at the shooting guard position and excel in an off-ball capacity, making him a perfect fit alongside a ball-dominant star like Dame.
Meanwhile, trading Holiday for McCollum would be a no-brainer for the Pelicans as it would allow them to add an established superstar who is a better fit with their young core. McCollum is younger than Holiday and is under contract until the 2023-24 NBA season. As Buckley noted, pairing him with Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson would give New Orleans a “power-punching offensive trio.” If he meshes well with Ingram, Williamson, and Lonzo Ball, and familiarizes himself with their system, the Pelicans would undeniably have a better chance of making a huge impact in the Western Conference next season.