Three Trade Ideas For A Jrue Holiday/Sixers Reunion

NBA: NOV 24 Pelicans at Clippers
LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 24: New Orleans Pelicans Guard Jrue Holiday (11) looks on during a NBA game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Los Angeles Clippers on November 24, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

Former Sixer Jrue Holiday is officially on the trade block. Earlier today, the Athletic’s Shams Charania broke the news that Holiday is not only available, but the market for Holiday is hot.

Almost simultaneously, the city of Philadelphia erupted, requesting new President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey to make a Jrue Holiday trade his first order of business.

The idea of Holiday returning to Philadelphia is nothing new, especially not at PSN. Holiday is not only a great player but a fantastic locker room presence.

From his fit, to his talent, to his leadership, Holiday is a no-brainer of a trade candidate. If it were up to the Sixers, I think there would be no question that they would trade for Holiday, but it takes two to make a deal.

The Pelicans have been flirting with the idea of trading Holiday for roughly a year now but it seems the time as come. The prevailing question is, do the Sixers have the assets to acquire Holiday?

Sixers/Pelicans Exchange Defenders

New Orleans Receives: Matisse Thybulle, Al Horford, and the 21st overall pick (from PHI via OKC)

Philadelphia Receives: Jrue Holiday and Darius Miller

First, let’s look at why New Orleans would want to make this deal.

Why New Orleans Does It

The Pelicans are looking to move on from Holiday due to his cap number ($25.4mil) and age (30) which is why Matisse Thybulle is the perfect replacement. The defensive potential Thybulle brings rivals that of Holiday, who managed to lock up Damian Lillard in the playoffs.

The Pelicans seem to be shifting to a roster of young athletics defenders capable of switching. That is the definition of Matisse Thybulle. There is no question they would be interested in the Sixers’ swing-man. The bigger question is why they would be interested in Horford.

Players cannot simply be swapped. Matching salary is a necessity in almost any NBA trade. Al Horford satisfies that need. Horford is also a far better player than many give him credit.

While he can no longer be considered a defensive anchor or an All-Star, Horford certainly fills a need for the Pelicans. His spacing and defensive ability are still strong enough to impact the game and teams need veterans like Horford to help their younger players along.

Why Philadelphia Does It

As I said, if it were up to the Sixers, there would be no question that they would trade for Holiday. That being said, not every fan would be happy with this trade. Trying to please everyone is unrealistic though.

If the Sixers are going to trade for Jrue Holiday, the painful truth is that any deal will likely involve Philadelphia darling Matisse Thybulle. While the rookie has been nothing short of impressive, players like Holiday are not just given away. While giving up Thybulle stings, moving on from Horford helps ease the pain, but it’s not exactly one-to-one.

The value Jrue Holiday would add to this Sixers team would be tremendous. His scoring, ball-handling, and most importantly his defense could take the Sixers to the next level. The Sixers must be willing to give up value to make it happen.

“Throw-in” Darius Miles has some value as well. His contract ($7 million) can be used at the trade deadline to add a player who can help make a further push for contention.

Pelicans Swap Jrue Holiday For Youth

New Orleans Receives: Josh Richardson, Shake Milton, Zhaire Smith, Mike Scott, the 34th overall pick, and a 2021 first-round pick (top 10 protected)

Philadelphia Receives: Jrue Holiday

Why New Orleans Does It

There is a youth movement going on in New Orleans. Aside from JJ Redick, it seems that the Pelicans are looking to surround Zion Williamson with cap flexibility and players who can grow with him.

Josh Richardson and Shake Milton check both of those boxes. The two young guards would provide the Pelicans with ball-handling guards who can shoot when needed. Both are on team-friendly deals allowing the Pelicans to remain flexible going forward. Richardson and Milton are also very familiar with a pace-and-space offense, something Stan Van Gundy is likely to run.

Adding a first-round pick also helps New Orleans remain young and financially flexible.

Why Philadelphia Does It

The Sixers are going to have to give up draft compensation and young players if they’re going to have any chance at snatching Holiday away from the likes of Brooklyn or Miami. While it may not seem ideal, and there are valid concerns about mortgaging the future, this is a move that sets them up for the future.

The first-round pick isn’t necessarily “expendable,” but having four second-round picks makes the decision easier. Losing Milton and Richardson is tough, but Holiday is by far the best player of the three. While Holiday is older than both Milton and Richardson, he raises the Sixers status to contender instantly. By doing so, the Sixers immediately become a more desirable destination for free agents including buy-out candidates.

While that may be forward-thinking, it’s something worth considering. There could be some real contributors that end up being bought out after the trade deadline and the good teams snatch those players up (Bucks, Lakers, Clippers). To do that though, the Sixers must be desirable enough to beat out those other teams. Adding Holiday helps to put them over the edge thanks to his contributions on and off the court.

Combining Two Trade Rumors

New Orleans Receives: Josh Richardson, Zhaire Smith, Dwight Powell, Delon Wright, and the 21st overall pick (from PHI via OKC)

Dallas Receives: Tobias Harris and Furkan Korkmaz

Philadelphia Receives: Jrue Holiday, Seth Curry, Darius Miller, and Justin Jackson

Why New Orleans Does It

Of all the trades suggested, this is as close as it gets to “win-now” for the Pelicans. There is no player on Holiday’s level coming back to them which is often considered a loss but I don’t think that’s the case.

The Pelicans have their star in Zion Williamson and as valuable as Jrue Holiday is, it’s unlike that any team would part with a budding young star for him. The name of the game for New Orleans is youth and affordability. While they’re not rookies, Richardson, Powell, and Wright are all younger than Holiday and provide more cap flexibility.

The Pelicans are moving on from a veteran, yes, but they’re not tanking and that’s an important distinction. The team has maintained that they’re looking to win early and often in Zion’s career. They can’t afford a repeat of Anthony Davis’ tenure.

Richardson, Powell, and Wright possess the desired traits New Orleans wants and additionally, they fit the style of New Orleans’ new offense; run.

Paired with a first-round pick, the Pelicans set themselves up well now and in the future, which should be the end goal of trading Jrue Holiday.

Why Dallas Does It

Okay, kind of cheating here by using another recent trade rumor but if it works, it works. The Dallas Mavericks may possibly be interested in Tobias Harris, and Daryl Morey may jump at the opportunity.

If Dallas is in-fact interested, Curry, Powell, and Wright aren’t much to lose for a scorer like Harris. Yes, Curry is a great shooter but he’s wildly inconsistent. Delon Wright and Dwight Powell are certainly expendable under the right circumstances, and Tobias Harris is just that.

To add a bonafide scorer and replace Curry’s shooting in Korkmaz, the Mavericks would be able to assemble a very tough big three in Big D.

Why Philadelphia Does It

The reasons to add Jrue Holiday should be obvious by now. The level to which he would elevate this team is enough but by adding Seth Curry, the team takes another step further.

The loss of Tobias Harris would be greater than fans would realize, but Curry could fill the very important role JJ Redick did when he played for the Sixers. The Sixers need a sniper and while Curry can be inconsistent, he is a great three-point shooter.

Again, Darius Miller is a tradable contract for the deadline as is Justin Jackson, though Jackson may have his own value. Jackson hasn’t found his footing in the NBA yet but he’s still young (25). He has the potential to become a solid 3&D forward one day which the Sixers could either bank on or use as an asset in a deadline deal.

There are deals to be had between the Sixers and Pelicans but there will be plenty of competition for Jrue Holiday. Daryl Morey needs to be decisive if he will make an offseason splash or if he will wait until at least the deadline.

Mandatory Credit – Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire