New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday is no stranger to the trade rumor mill. The Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, and Denver Nuggets were rumored to have interest at February’s trade deadline. More recently, Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo! Sports reported 10 teams could have interest in trading for Holiday during this compressed offseason.
The Nets are easy to put at or near the top of potential suitors for Holiday, as they seek a third star to join Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Other teams looking to shake things up some-the Indiana Pacers, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Dallas Mavericks and the Golden State Warriors come to mind-could consider making an offer for Holiday.
But down the list of possible suitors for Holiday, and confirmed by the extensive list put together by Sam Quinn of CBS Sports, is an interesting team.
The Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Timberwolves have a star to build around in Karl-Anthony Towns. They managed to offload Andrew Wiggins and a get a more legit second fiddle in DeAngelo Russell. Russell also happens to be Towns’ friend, as much as that matters in an effort to appease him.
The Timberwolves that the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft. With no clear-cut franchise-altering guy to be had, the idea of trading the pick is on the table. That pick, and/or the 17th overall pick Minnesota also has, would the centerpiece of any trade offer for a third star.
Towns has four years left on his contract. But the idea he might want out and force a trade at some point before that never seems far away from speculation. He could very well take the Timberwolves down the same path Anthony Davis took the Pelicans.
Could the Timberwolves really get Jrue Holiday?
Holiday is due to make $26.2 million next season, with a $27.1 million player option for 2021-22. He is also 30 years old, with some pretty significant injury history. But Holiday is still a valuable all-around player. He’s a net positive on both ends of the floor, he’s an acceptable 3-point shooter (35.3 percent last) and is an able secondary ball handler. As it pertains to sharing a backcourt with Russell, Holiday is a good defender and does not need to dominate the ball to be effective on the offensive end.
Here’s a deal that would bring Holiday to the Timberwolves.
Timberwolves Get: G Jrue Holiday
Pelicans Get: SG Jarrett Culver, SF James Johnson, SF Jake Layman, No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft
The Timberwolves are always kicking the can down the road, with annual lottery picks conveying the promise of a bright future that never comes. So one of their first-round picks, and yes, even the No. 1 pick, might be a worthy price to pay to make a move for right now. With little else that would appeal to the Pelicans, besides swapping Josh Okogie into to a trade offer in place of Culver or Layman, the No. 1 pick would be the trump card that no one else can offer. Johnson is primarily included to make the money work, though he did shoot over 47 percent from the floor and over 36 percent from 3-point range this past season.