Sixers scenario: Will Jrue come home for the Holiday?


While the New Orleans Pelicans had high hopes for this season, injuries (specifically to Zion Williamson) have lowered expectations. Currently 6-22, the Pelicans are beginning to look like sellers. Certain players will be available for the right price and none may be more appealing than one or both of Jrue Holiday and Josh Hart. Many Sixers fans will clamor for recent Sixer JJ Reddick. Reddick is a fantastic shooter but that is about it. Don’t get me wrong, the Sixers would look much better if you put Reddick on this Sixers team, but the cost when compared to his age and his contract is not worth it.

It’s the Holiday season

Fans should remember Holiday as the Sixers traded to start the process. During the 2013 NBA draft, the Sixers traded Holiday to New Orleans for Nerlens Noel and a protected 2014 first-round pick. That pick was used on Elfrid Payton who was immediately traded for Dario Saric, The Sixers’ own first-round pick in 2017 (Swapped with Sacramento then package to Boston), and a second-round pick (Rashaun Holmes). Not a bad haul, but none of the players involved are still on the team.

Holiday meanwhile has thrived statistically in NOLA. After a couple of injury-plagued seasons, Holiday established himself as one of the top defenders in the league. Holiday also has improved as a scorer.

A reunion with a defensive-minded scoring guard makes too much sense. Jrue Holiday should be on Elton Brand’s wish list as well as every Sixers fan. The issue presented is what you have to give up in order to make such a trade a reality. Tobias Harris has been the most impressive Sixers this year in competition only with Matisse Thybulle. Harris’ contract however, is also the only one that could net us Holiday (Harris would need to be traded after Jan 15th). Technically Al Horford’s contract could also work, but the odds of the Sixers trading Horford would be minimal at best. Harris has more flashy value while Horford is that locker room staple the Sixers love.

“Last Christmas I gave you my Hart”

The other Pelican on the trade block is former Villanova star, Josh Hart. A young guard will plenty of offense potential, on the surface, it’s odd the Pelicans would want to trade him. They will for the right off though as they plan to be players in the free-agent market in the future and Hart will be looking for a sizable raise. Sometimes it’s wise to cut bait before you have a bloated contract on your hands.

Not as flashy as a Holiday trade, there is still plenty of value to be had. Hart would add some much-needed shooting off the bench for the Sixers and could be a valuable piece for years to come.

Neither Hart nor Holiday would come cheap and the Sixers would most likely need a third team to facilitate the trade in order to fit the Pelicans wants/needs. Best Case Scenario, the Sixers could net both but that would be costly and difficult to manage.

Wish list ideas

The mission is simple, Elton Brand needs to bring home our boys. Knowing that creativity would be required to get Holiday and Hart here, here are some three-team trade ideas:

Portland makes a playoff push

Why Portland does it: The Portland Trailblazers have also had a slower start than expected, but they play on being buyers at the deadline. By managing their expiring contracts correctly and selling younger talent they can add some serious talent. Adding Harris would help further this team’s quest to become an offensive juggernaut. Giving up picks and prospects hurts, but it’s almost a tradition in Portland.

Why NOLA does it: In one swift move the Pelicans become younger, cheaper, and bring in some draft capital. Collins could be a solid stretch big to switch off with Jaxson Hayes, while Bazemore is off the books after this year. Getting a first and early second-round pick doesn’t hurt either.

Sixers and Pacers extend olive branches

Why Indiana does it: The Pacers may be one piece away even with Victor Oladipo returning and Myles Turner is an unnatural fit next to Domantas Sabonis. In Harris, the Pacers will have the floor spacing big-man they’ve longed for who can score when needed, rebound, or even occasionally run the offense.

Why NOLA does it: The Pelicans are trying to get younger while adding talent, which is difficult for any team. This trade gives them a chance to age backward, fill a need at Center, and stay competitive. Myles Turner is one of the most impressive defensive Centers in the league and he is only 23. Tuner can grow with Zion and Ingram while being on an affordable contract.

Keep it simple

Why Golden State does it: This may be the most likely of the three trades. Golden State has considered moving Russell since acquiring him this off-season. A very talented player, it would simply come down to Russell not being an ideal fit when Curry and Thompson return from their injuries. Harris conversely, is a clean fit for the Warriors. An ideal shooter who can run pace & space all day, Harris fits the Warriors bill. The early second-round pick doesn’t hurt either.

Why NOLA does it: The Pelicans have a huge need at the point. Is Lonzo Ball the answer? They don’t know and I doubt it. Ball is a beyond solid player but his ability is not on Russell’s level. Ball would serve as another quality trade piece or you could also try running them together for a nice offense/defense combo. Russell is the type of young star the Pelicans want to pair with Zion and Brandon Ingram

Why the Sixers do it

For all three of these trades, the Sixers would see the same return, Jrue Holiday and Josh Hart. Both Holiday and Hart give the Sixers much need attributes from their scoring, to Holiday’s defense and play-making, to Hart’s ability to provide a spark from the bench. Giving up Harris is tough, especially if you’re giving up Smith and draft picks also, but for the opportunity at a ring, it is well worth it.

Which trade do you think the Sixers should pursue and why? What are some other trade ideas to bring Holiday and Hart home? Comment your ideas and let’s game-plan a way for one or both to come to Philly.

Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports