The NBA trade front is currently buzzing with what seems like a new rumor being released every hour. The latest in the Hornets circle comes from Brandon Robinson (@ScoopB) who is reporting that Charlotte has held talks with the Pelicans about acquiring guard, Jrue Holiday. Probably not the Pelicans player that Hornets fans are necessarily interested in, but it would still be a great pickup for the team.
The reports that Holiday wanted to be moved started circulating shortly after Davis requested to be traded away from New Orleans. If Davis does get a move from N.O. it’s probably best for the Pelicans to bottom out and try to get into better draft position and begin their rebuild. However, they don’t have to be in any rush to do any of this. They can simply wait til the summer time when they can receive better and more certain offers.
Either way, lets entertain this scenario. Holiday has sneakily been one of the best guards in the league for the past two seasons. He has the ability to play alongside another point guard, as seen last season playing alongside Rajon Rondo when they swept the 3 seeded Portland Trailblazers (and it wasn’t close) and then got knocked out by the soon to be finals champions.
It’s safe to say he would slide right in alongside Hornets All-Star guard, Kemba Walker. Like Walker, but very quietly, Holiday is also having the best season of his career at 28 years old. As it stands, he is currently averaging 21.2 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds per game. All good enough to be his career high. Not to mention he is arguably one of, if not the, best defensive guard in the NBA. Last season he earned 1st Team All-Defense and is more than likely to be awarded this honor again at the end of this season.
Financially it isn’t pretty as Holiday is on a whomper of a contract. Currently on a 5 year deal making roughly $131.8 million, somewhere around $26 million a year. Not too appealing, he makes a touch more than Nicolas Batum, but is a significantly better player. If the Hornets are going to be in cap hell for the next few years they may as well have players who are consistently playing well. You would have to imagine the initial trade package from Charlotte would be Batum, a 1st round pick and Malik Monk. It’s not thrilling losing that first round pick, but getting off Batum’s contract may be worth it.
Players who excel on both ends of the court like Holiday does don’t seem to come around too often these days. The Hornets would be in a good position with a back court consisting of Walker and Holiday. It wouldn’t necessarily be the flashiest of acquisitions, but chances are the results will begin to improve.
The main thing the Hornets have lacked is a 2nd scoring option behind Walker. Holiday definitely brings that to the table, along with the ability to guard the leagues best back court players, allowing a guy like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to use his defensive abilities elsewhere.
It seems like the Hornets front office hasn’t been shy about picking up the phone to try and improve the roster. It will surely be interesting to see the shape of the roster after the deadline.