Despite losing All-Star Anthony Davis last summer, the New Orleans Pelicans chose to keep veteran point guard Jrue Holiday on their roster. Since the 2019 offseason, the Pelicans have been telling everyone in the league that they have no intention of moving Holiday, saying that they still considered him part of their long-term future. However, after the Pelicans failed to earn a playoff spot in the Western Conference, rumors surrounding Holiday and his future in New Orleans started to heat up once again.
No matter how many times the Pelicans insist that they have no plan of trading him, most people still see Holiday as an odd fit on their roster. In a recent article, Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report included Holiday on the list of superstars who should be on the trade watch in the 2020 offseason. With the veteran point’s age clearly outside the timeline of Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Hart, Hughes believes that Holiday is “a lock to be moved” this fall.
“Though he’s not quite in the fuzzily defined ‘superstar’ tier of the previous four players, Jrue Holiday is close enough to make the cut. He was robbed of a deserved All-Defensive selection this year, and you can’t find a teammate or opponent who won’t gush about his impact. More importantly, Holiday feels like a lock to be moved. Start with his age, 30, which is way outside of the New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson-Brandon Ingram timeline. Then note his extremely movable contract, which will pay him $26.1 million next year with a $27 million player option for 2021-22.”
Holiday may not have shown any strong indication that he’s no longer happy in New Orleans, but at this point in his career, he will undeniably be better off playing for a legitimate title contender than wasting his prime years waiting for Williamson and Ingram to blossom into full-fledged superstars. He would be more useful to teams that are in dire need of a backcourt boost and a third star to increase their chances of bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy next year.
Some of the potential landing spots for Holiday in the 2020 offseason include the Minnesota Timberwolves, Dallas Mavericks, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets, and Miami Heat. Though it would decrease their chances of returning to the playoffs next season, trading the veteran point guard would be beneficial for the Pelicans. By sending him to teams that could fully utilize his skills, the Pelicans could acquire actual assets that could help them speed up the rebuilding process.