New Orleans Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday has been rumored to possibly be on the move as the 2021 NBA Draft draws near. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Pelicans are openly discussing star Holiday in trade talks and several contending teams are pursuing.
The Miami Heat were one of several teams who pursued Holiday at the trade deadline during the 2019-20 season. However, the Heat also plan on going all-in for Giannis Antetokounmpo during next year’s offseason. There may be a way to work both Holiday and Antetokounmpo into the salary cap, but it would be difficult to accomplish.
Does Holiday have a place with the Miami Heat? They are one piece away from being a true contender every year. Here is what a potential acquisition of Holiday would mean to the organization.
Jrue Holiday’s fit on the Miami Heat
With their current starting point guard Goran Dragic entering free agency, it leaves an open spot at the position for the Miami Heat. Let’s just say the Heat do pull off a move for all-star point guard Jrue Holiday. Last season, Holiday averaged 19.1 points, 6.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds over the course of the regular season.
Holiday is a good scoring point guard who can also defend the opposing team’s best guard. He would be a substantial upgrade over Dragic and provide the Heat another all-defensive team player on the team. Holiday has averaged around six assists per season over his career and wouldn’t be a threat to take selfish shots and control the ball.
The 30-year-old guard would be an incredible fit next to Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler. He is a slightly younger, but upgraded version of Dragic, who has grown close to Butler. Holiday would be in the starting lineup and give the Heat a lineup of Holiday-Robinson-Butler-Adebayo-Olynyk. This would be an effective starting five, with a mix of offensive and defensive star power.
What would the Miami Heat have to trade away?
Jrue Holiday will earn $26.1 million next season with a 2021-2022 player option for just over $27 million. The easiest option for the Miami Heat would be to send Andre Igoudala ($15 million), Tyler Herro ($3.8 million), Kelly Olynyk ($1.2 million), and their current first-round pick in this year’s draft for Holiday. This would allow the Pelicans to receive a star in the making with Herro and a first-round pick to headline the deal.
However, it has been rumored by networks close to the Miami Heat, that Herro would not be included in any deal for Holiday. This wouldn’t be surprising due to Herro’s rise during the playoffs. People within the organization view Herro as a better version of Devin Booker, so it may be hard to pry him away from the team.
Another option could be to send Kendrick Nunn ($1.6 million) and another first-round pick down the line instead of Herro. Nunn made the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2020 and showed up in the NBA Finals when he was needed. There also could be the possibility of trading Duncan Robinson ($1.6 million) without the need to trade an extra first-round pick away.
The bottom line
There are many ways that the Heat can trade for Jrue Holiday. The deciding factor for them will be whether it is worth it to compromise their salary cap this year for a potential one-year rental and go for the championship. Holiday would certainly put them on the stage that the Brooklyn Nets occupy.
Their pursuit of Giannis Antetokounmpo may be the force that makes them decide to pass on Holiday. Antetokounmpo is the big fish in next year’s free-agent class. He has been talked about as the biggest potential move since LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers. This will be the biggest question for them as they decide what to do.
Even if the Miami Heat don’t add Jrue Holiday, there are many other options available. After losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals, the Heat could run it back and go for their fourth title in 2021. The Heat will be able to add a star player eventually. The question will be who it is and when they make the move.