After finishing the 2019-20 NBA season as one of the worst teams in the Western Conference, the Minnesota Timberwolves successfully acquired the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. As of now, they remain undecided regarding what they are going to do with the top selection, but if they are serious about competing for the championship title next year, they should strongly consider trading it for an All-Star caliber player who would complement Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell. One of the players whom the Timberwolves could target is veteran point guard Jrue Holiday of the New Orleans Pelicans.
If the Pelicans decide to move Holiday this offseason, Dan FaVale of Bleacher Report believes the Timberwolves should go “all-in” to acquire him. In the proposed scenario, Minnesota would be sending New Orleans a package that includes James Johnson, Jake Layman, Josh Okogie, and the No. 1 pick in exchange for Holiday.
Holiday may not be on the same level as Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden, but FaVale thinks pairing him with Towns and Russell would help the Timberwolves improve their performance on both ends of the floor and give them a realistic chance of fully dominating the loaded Western Conference and bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy next year.
“Holiday’s fit with D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns makes the opportunity worth at least a discussion. He can be the backbone of the perimeter defense, and they, collectively, ensure he seldom has to be the primary scorer or playmaker—which in turn should give him more energy to expend on the less glamorous end, most notably when guarding away from the ball.”
Holiday may be a point guard like Russell, but he won’t have a problem sharing the backcourt with him since he’s also capable of efficiently playing at the shooting guard position. What makes him a more interesting addition to Minnesota is his ability to excel in an off-ball capacity, making him an ideal superstar running mate for ball-dominant stars like Russell and Towns. He would give them a very reliable scoring option, playmaker, floor-spacer, and a decent perimeter defender.
Last season, he averaged 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 not have shown strong indication that he’s no longer happy in New Orleans, but at this point in his career, he would be better off playing for a team that is seriously aiming for the championship title.