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Jrue Holiday Trade Rumors: Pelicans Making PG Available; Cost Is 'Significant'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 17, 2019

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 15: Jrue Holiday #11 of the New Orleans Pelicans stands on the court during a NBA game against the Orlando Magic at Smoothie King Center on December 15, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Amid a 6-21 start to the 2019-20 season, the New Orleans Pelicans are now open to the idea of trading star guard Jrue Holiday, according to a report from Marc Stein of the New York Times.

The Pelicans reportedly are less interested in dealing JJ Redick, however, while Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram are believed to be "untouchables."

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine

Yet what that also means is Jrue Holiday is indeed available via trade, league sources say. It would surely cost a significant amount to pry him away from the Pels, but this is a notable change in status given how unavailable Holiday was to interested teams last season

A potential move would make sense for both parties.

The 29-year-old Holiday is in his prime on a team mostly comprised of young, developing talent. He could also fetch solid young players and draft assets in a deal, especially considering that he's under contract for next season at a reasonable $25.4 million. (He also has a player option for $26.3 million in the 2021-22 campaign, but he'll almost assuredly opt out and hit the market.)

Holiday is having another solid season, averaging 19.4 points, 6.8 assists and five rebounds per game while shooting 45.4 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from three. He would make a lot of sense for a team that's looking to take the leap into contending status.

The Denver Nuggets will be a popular choice, especially since they could offer a package centered around Gary Harris and Michael Porter Jr., as ESPN's Zach Lowe suggested Sunday. The only issue there is that Adrian Wojnarowski immediately countered that Porter was untouchable, which could nix any deal.

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Another fascinating team would be the Miami Heat, who would get a second star next to Jimmy Butler. They could build a package around Goran Dragic's expiring contract and some combination of young players (Tyler Herro, Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson, Derrick Jones Jr.), salary-filler. It's unlikely future draft assets would be a part of any Miami offer:

Albert Nahmad @AlbertNahmad

Heat now owes first-round picks to Clippers in 2021 (unprotected) and 2023 (lottery protected through 2025, unprotected in 2026). As a result, for at least the next 4 years, they won’t be able to trade a future first-round pick unconditionally until 2028. That’s 9 years from now!

The deal would not only make the Heat better this season, but it would also give them payroll flexibility for the summer of 2021 assuming Holiday opts out of his deal. That would keep the Heat in the potential sweepstakes for a player like Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Plenty of other teams could come calling. Dallas might look to pair Holiday with Luka Doncic (once he returns from injury) and Kristaps Porzingis. The Mavs have the contracts to make it work, though they may be hesitant to break up a unit that is humming to the tune of an 18-8 record. 

And there could always be a surprise team that enters the fray. Regardless, if Holiday is available, the Pelicans will likely be able to whip up a market for his services. He already feels likely to be on the move before the Feb. 6 trade deadline. 

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