A Jrue Holiday Trade That Benefits The New Orleans Pelicans

There’s no need for Jrue Holiday to unpack his bags in Portland. Furthermore, the Pelicans could play a pivotal role in assisting him get to his ultimate destination.

No, it wouldn’t be New Orleans.

The Bucks, Suns and Trail Blazers agreed upon a groundbreaking trade yesterday, sending Damian Lillard to Milwaukee. Numerous other players were moved in the package too, like DeAndre Ayton and Jusuf Nurkic, but most eyes should have been drawn to the inclusion of Holiday.

The Trail Blazers are probably the least win-now ready team in the league — at least they should aspire to go down that path. Holiday radiates the antithesis of that train of thought. He is 33-years-old and remains a top 30 player in the league. He would be a boon to any championship contender.

No surprise, Holiday is widely expected to be on the move again.

While Holiday could theoretically improve any team on the basketball court, the composition of New Orleans’ roster echoes he would be a much better fit elsewhere, say the Boston Celtics.

The Pelicans already possess a hoard of defense-first guys: Jose Alvarado, Herb Jones, Dyson Daniels and Larry Nance. There’s also greater need for strong vocal leadership and more gifted shooters than a versatile two-way player.

This is why bringing Holiday back to New Orleans and flipping CJ McCollum to a third team should give David Griffin much pause. However, the Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations is still itching to find a long-term starting center and the Celtics appear to be well positioned to help.

Brad Stevens shook up Boston’s core over the summer, shipping Marcus Smart to Memphis while adding Kristaps Porzingis. In the process, Malcolm Brogdon became disillusioned when his name was originally included in the proposed deal. The Celtics now have a defensive void, one important but perhaps still unhappy backcourt player, and a trio of players that can man the center position in Porzingis, Robert Williams and Al Horford.

Hence, the following trade proposal makes a lot of sense for all parties involved.


This proposal would obviously also include future draft picks from both the Pelicans and Celtics, but the end result would be Boston smartly economizes its roster with Holiday, New Orleans lands a real rim protector in Williams and Portland…can start following Sam Presti’s footsteps in earnest.

The Trail Blazers appear fully committed to a core of Scoot Henderson, Shaedon Sharpe and Ayton. There’s an expectation that Jerami Grant is going to be dealt. It’s easy to read the tea leaves that winning is not an immediate priority in Portland. If that’s indeed the case, it would behoove Joe Cronin and his front office to start accumulating loads of assets for the future.

Presti has built up a hoard of draft capital in Oklahoma City. One method that helped him accomplish the task was to take on veteran contracts which he later flipped for future picks. Before the start of the 2022-23 season, Presti had 38 draft picks at his disposal.

The Thunder still have a remarkable 38 draft picks (19 in the first round and 19 second) in the next seven years, something never done by another team. There is a lot of freedom and options as general manager Sam Presti continues to build something special from the ground up.

There’s little debate no team is better suited to make a big splash for seasons to come than the Thunder.

Valanciunas and Brogdon still carry plenty of positive value around the league. The Trail Blazers have time on their side to wait for suitors willing to pay a good price. Thanks to injury and underperformance, the NBA landscape is ever-changing so there’s a strong likelihood that both players would get moved before the next trade deadline.

Portland could perhaps facilitate the failed part of the Porzingis trade, getting Brogdon to the Los Angeles Clippers, or find Valanciunas his desired role on another team.

In the interim, veteran voices inside the Trail Blazers locker room would be ideal in assisting the growth of their team’s youth.

It is inevitable that Jrue Holiday soon lands somewhere outside of Portland for draft capital. It also feels inevitable that New Orleans finally makes a trade for its future center and Boston tweaks its roster for another championship run. A Brogdon-Holiday-Valanciunas-Williams swap would answer that bell.

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One thought on “A Jrue Holiday Trade That Benefits The New Orleans Pelicans

  1. That’s a great trade imo. Portland’s roster looks like there is a need for another PG and C. Pels really need a guy like Williams who is athletic to anchor that position. They still need another guy who can create for himself off the bench. If BI gets injured again they back in the same position as last season. Plus with Trey injured too, Griffin really need to get off his ass and see this roster needs work. Like you said they have many defensive first guys already, but somebody should be moved to get a player that has more offense to his game

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