New York Knicks: Why Jrue Holiday should be a trade target

New York Knicks president Leon Rose should make a push for Jrue Holiday.

With All-Star Jrue Holiday reportedly on the trade block, many teams are in hot pursuit of the guard from the New Orleans Pelicans. While plenty of contending teams will make their best offer, with the 8th pick in the upcoming draft, along with cap space and some promising pieces, the New York Knicks are definitely in position to make a move.

That being said, Pelicans president David Griffin does not seem to be an easy trading partner.

Here is the haul he received from trading away Anthony Davis:

  1. Lonzo Ball
  2. Josh Hart
  3. De’Andre Hunter (2019 1st round pick)
  4. Brandon Ingram
  5. 2021 1st round draft pick
  6. 2023 1st round draft pick
  7. 2024 1st round draft pick
  8. Cash

Jrue Holiday is no Anthony Davis, but he’s one of the most talented guards in the league.

His start with the Pelicans was riddled by injuries, but he has been relatively healthy and consistent in recent years.

Over the past three seasons, he has averaged 19.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.8 blocks on 0.47/0.34/0.75 shooting.

He made the NBA All-Defensive First Team in 2018 and made the Second Team in 2019.

With a salary of $25 million due in the coming season and a player option of $26 million in the following, the Pelicans are likely trying to clear some minutes as they invest in younger prospects that fit Zion’s timeline a bit better than Holiday. Also, this move mitigates David Griffin’s most likely concern/risk of Holiday opting out the following year for nothing. If the Pelicans miss the playoffs for another season, that possibility increases significantly.

The Pelicans’ depth at the guard position is definitely deep enough to consider parting with Holiday. They have Lonzo Ball, JJ Redick, Josh Hart, and E’twaun Moore, to name a few of the guards.

Regardless of the Pelicans situation, someone of Jrue’s caliber warrants plenty of suiters and it will cost quite a bit to acquire him.

The Knicks are currently a great partner for plenty of teams trying to get below the tax line for the upcoming season, especially if they are not championship contenders.

Here’s a trade I think works on both sides:

Jrue Holiday ($25MM) for Julius Randle ($19MM) and Kevin Knox II ($4.6MM), plus the 27th and 38th draft pick in the 2020 draft.

The Knicks gamble to get their PG/SG of the future and finally get an All-Star caliber player that excels both offensively and defensively.

There is definitely the chance that Holiday walks after this season, but these are the moves that the Knicks definitely need to start making to be able to attract players to New York. He’s exactly the time of talent that recently-hired head coach Tom Thibodeau would want on the roster.

In this hypothetical deal, the Pelicans would save a few million dollars in cap space and gain a late 1st rounder and an early 2nd round pick to potentially package into another deal. They receive Julius Randle who has previously found success in New Orleans. He would provide depth to the oft-injured Zion Williamson as well.

Kevin Knox is just a sweetener, as a lottery pick going into his third season in the league. He didn’t find much success during his sophomore campaign, but there’s enough talent there to warrant a decision to take him ninth in the draft.

The Knicks will be linked to plenty of trade rumors for the next couple of months. New York is desperate to find a true point guard to lead their young core. I believe now is the time for Leon Rose to make some risky moves to get the Knicks back in the playoffs.