And just like that, Jrue Holiday is the hottest name on the NBA trade market. A day after he said he wanted to retire in Milwaukee, the 33-year-old was traded to Portland as part of the Damian Lillard deal. Holiday’s now a popular topic amongst the New York Knicks fanbase, as is every other player available via trade.
The Trail Blazers have officially entered a rebuilding phase led by No. 3 pick Scoot Henderson, so Holiday doesn’t fit their timeline. Portland can add to its assets by flipping Holiday, who will likely end up on another contending team.
In 2009, Holiday’s NBA career began in Philadelphia. It turns out the Sixers have their own disgruntled guard in James Harden, so naturally, a trade involving Holiday and Harden has been a hot topic on social media. The problem is that the Clippers reportedly have been reluctant to acquire Harden, so there’s no guarantee Los Angeles would discuss a Harden trade with Portland.
New York fans should be against Holiday reuniting with Philadelphia, mainly because of what it could mean for Joel Embiid’s future. The Sixers need to act with the same urgency as the Bucks, so Daryl Morey should be trying to get Holiday. He’s no Damian Lillard, but he’s regarded as one of the best defenders in the league, the kind of player Philadelphia needs.
If the Knicks wanted to do so, they could step in and be the team to trade for the two-time All-Star.
Should the New York Knicks trade for All-Star guard Jrue Holiday?
A few hours after the Damian Lillard news broke, New York Post’s Mike Vaccaro wrote that he received a text that read:
"“Thibs and Jrue,” a longtime NBA executive texted me on Wednesday, “is a marriage made in basketball heaven.”"
It’s true. Jrue Holiday is an All-NBA defender who shot 38.4% from three last season with the Bucks, although that number did drop to 28.6% in the team’s first-round playoff exit. Without looking too much into it, trading for Holiday should be a no-brainer move for Leon Rose, right?
Here’s the catch — Holiday has one full year left on his current contract, as he has a $37.4 million player option for 2024-25. Next summer, Holiday will turn 34. New York shouldn’t send Portland a first-round pick for a one-year rental, and if he wanted to stay with the Knicks longer, how much money should the front office commit to an aging guard?
As much as Knicks fans want to see the front office make a move, trading for Holiday wouldn’t elevate New York to a championship contender. Leon Rose would take a gamble on the 14-year veteran, and young players like Quentin Grimes and Immanuel Quickley (two more than capable defenders) would lose minutes in the process. If the Knicks were in a similar position to the Sixers, it shouldn’t take much thought to pick up the phone and call Joe Cronin.
New York’s current front office regime makes calculated moves, and trading for Jrue Holiday doesn’t fall under that category. Leon Rose could still pull a trade off and surprise Knicks fans, but it’d be best if New York stayed quiet.