- The New Orleans Pelicans are discussing Jrue Holiday in trade talks.
- Holiday is signed through 2020-21 but has a player option for the 2021-22 season.
- The Pelicans have the 8th best odds to win the Western Conference at +2500.
We don’t know when the NBA’s 2020-21 season will start but despite that the NBA rumor mill continues to run as we head to the 2020 NBA draft and free agency.
The latest intel is that the New Orleans Pelicans could undergo a roster makeover before the start of the season. The Pelicans missed the last playoffs after a poor outing at Disney World. That disappointing finish cost the job of head coach Alvin Gentry and now, the Pelicans are reportedly shopping starting guard Jrue Holiday in a trade.
BREAKING: The New Orleans Pelicans are ‘openly discussing’ a Jrue Holiday trade, per @ShamsCharania pic.twitter.com/L7vtMIrNHc
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) November 4, 2020
Holiday is signed until the coming season and has a player option for the 2021-22 campaign. That means he can be a free agent a year from now and that puts some pressure on the Pelicans who have to decide soon if he’s going to be part of their future or if it makes sense if they can shop him around and see what they can get for him at the trade market rather than lose him without getting anything in return in 2021.
If New Orleans is indeed serious about moving Holiday, then he will be an intriguing prospect for contending teams.According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, several contenders are reportedly interested and pursuing the veteran guard:
The New Orleans Pelicans are openly discussing star Jrue Holiday in trade talks and several contending teams are pursuing, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 4, 2020
According to a report from Yahoo Sports, there are at least 10 contenders who are interested in acquiring Holiday’s services. The report said that at least the Nuggets, Nets, Mavericks, and Heat are inquiring about Holiday’s availability. Given his wealth of experience and his elite defensive skills, he is going to be a heavily sought after commodity.
One of The Best Defensive Guards in the NBA
The 30-year old Holiday was the 17th overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers out of UCLA. He spent his first four seasons in Philly and was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team in 2013 before he was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans for Nerlens Noel and a first round draft pick.
He developed into one of the best defensive guards in the league with the Pelicans. Holiday earned All-Defensive First Team honors in 2018 and All-Defensive Second team honors in 2019. He is also one of the most well-loved players on the Pelicans and was voted as the NBA’s 2020 Teammate of the Year.
Although he didn’t earn an All-Star nod, he had his best year every in 2018-19, averaging 21.1 points, 7.7 assists, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 47.2% from the floor. Last season, he wasn’t as productive and his numbers went down. Still, it was an impressive season as Holiday averaged 19.1 points, 6.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per outing while shooting 45.5% from the field and 35.2% from behind the arc.
Holiday is signed through the 2020-21 season where he will make $26.2M and has a player option of $27.15M for the 2021-22 season. If the Pelicans can’t sign him to an extension or won’t trade him at the deadline, he could walk away after the end of next season.
High Hopes For Pelicans
There were high hopes for the New Orleans Pelicans last season. Despite losing Anthony Davis to the Lakers, the Pelicans got a good return for AD. New Orleans received Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and three first round picks. They also won last year’s draft lottery and were able to pick Duke phenom Zion Williamson with the no. 1 overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft.
Williamson started the season on the injured list but his absence was a blessing in disguise as Brandon Ingram had his best season ever and was named to the All-Star team for the first time in his career. When Williamson finally made his debut, the Pelicans made a run for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
New Orleans had the second-best odds to make the playoffs right before the start of the Disney bubble. However, the team sputtered in the seeding games and finished last among the Western Conference teams with a 2-6 record. They missed the playoffs and finished the 2019-20 season with a 30-42 record, 13th in the West.
The Pelicans have the 8th best odds to win the West next season at +2500. With Stan Van Gundy taking over from Alvin Gentry and their young stars one year wiser, they hope to return to the playoffs this year. With free agency decisions to make, it will be interesting to see where Jrue Holiday ends up.