According to a recently published list of trade ideas, the Denver Nuggets could acquire veteran New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday for two of their key rotation players — Will Barton and Gary Harris — as well as a pair of unspecified future draft choices.
Per Bleacher Report‘s Sean Highkin, it appears that Barton might not be with the Nuggets for much longer, considering how he missed the entire NBA season restart and how Jamal Murray emerged as a top offensive option as the team made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals. Harris, meanwhile, was slowed down by a hip injury in the league’s Orlando bubble and as a result, did not contribute much during Denver’s playoff run.
Despite those issues, Highkin stressed that the two Nuggets wingmen have substantial postseason experience and are talented enough to enjoy larger roles if traded to the Pelicans. He added that Barton and Harris could help New Orleans address its defensive woes while also providing an otherwise young unit with some much-needed leadership.
Although the Pelicans got a good season from 2019 first overall draft pick Zion Williamson and a breakout year from 2019-20 Most Improved Player awardee Brandon Ingram, the club still finished with a 30-42 record, failing to make the playoffs after finishing 13th in the Western Conference.
Along with J.J. Redick, Holiday was one of the few veterans who had a productive year for the Pelicans last season, averaging 19.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.6 steals per game and shooting 45.5 percent from the field, according to the club’s Basketball-Reference page.
As explained by Bleacher Report’s Highkin, the Nuggets could end up with a stronger backcourt if the trade idea pushes forward, with Holiday teaming up with Murray and the team not having to give up any of the players who were instrumental in this year’s postseason stint.
“Harris and Barton are good defenders, but due to injuries and inconsistent offense, neither is a permanent long-term starter. Consolidating that spot and upgrading to Holiday would make the Nuggets much better while giving New Orleans two quality pieces in return.”
Following reports from earlier this week that suggested the Pelicans are shopping him around in the offseason, a number of other trade ideas for Holiday have been proposed in recent days. These include one that would have the former All-Defensive Team selection heading to the Miami Heat in a deal that would send a number of players, including Tyler Herro and Andre Iguodala, to the Pelicans.