New Orleans Pelicans Make Blockbuster Trade for All-Star Jrue Holiday

Published: June 27, 2013

We all want to be able to predict the future, but isn’t it so much more fun when we can’t? The day started off with most of us thinking that Trey Burke would be the point guard of the future. Instead, Jrue Holiday will be the point guard of the present AND the future. The exact trade is as follows:

The Pelicans will send Nerlens Noel and our 2014 1st round pick (top-5 protected) to Philadelphia for Jrue Holiday and the 42nd pick in the 2013 NBA draft.

Holliday, an All-Star for the first time last year, will step right in and run the offense while simultaneously leading the attack on the defensive end. Last season, Holiday had career highs in points (17.7) and assists (8.0), while also defending multiple positions for the 76ers. With the basics all laid out, let’s go a little deeper into this trade and what it means for the Pelicans.

Holiday’s Strengths and Weakness

Before Doug Collins threw his players under the bus and the wheels came off of the Philadelphia 76ers bus, Holiday was arguably a top 5 point guard in the league. Holiday is a quick point guard who is deceptively strong and can get to the bucket at will. He was well above average in both the pick and roll and in isolation, and was even more impressive as a spot up shooter, where he shot 48% from three. He also did some work down in the post.

Defensively, he defended shooting guards quite a bit, but primarily was used to pressure the ball. He has tremendous length (6’4″ with a 6’7″ wingspan) and agility. He is also tremendously active off the ball and understands how to make rotations and jump passing lanes. Coming out of UCLA, having played for Ben Howland, his defensive IQ is high for a young player. Dell and Monty wanted a point guard who can pressure the point of attack. Jrue Holiday fits that profile.

The 2014 Pick

If you are familiar with my work, you know that I have been advocating that the Pelicans trade this pick at its peak value. Dell Demps did that tonight. The pick is top 5 protected and Dell believes we will be competing for a playoff spot tomorrow. The good news is that even if he is wrong and we miss the playoffs but get super lucky in the lottery, we will keep the pick. You have the chance to trade the 6th pick in a weak draft and, let’s say, the 12th pick in a supposedly strong but unknown draft for a young All-Star who hasn’t even hit his prime, you do it EVERY SINGLE TIME!

Greivis Vasquez

It seems like the writing is on the wall. Vasquez has to be moved. Or does he? Dell Demps was very open last season, saying that he can see Vasquez playing SF for us. Why can’t he be a do-it-all backup, giving us minutes at PG, SG, and SF? Is it likely? No. Is it a viable option? Yes.

Cap Space

Basically, this deal brings us close to the cap, but there is still some wiggle move, as Vasquez could be moved and Lopez could be used as a sign and trade as well. Or the Pelicans now have the option to allow cap holds to remain on the books and use the MLE. For instance, they can keep Aminu’s cap hold on the books, use their MLE, and then come back and re-sign Aminu if they would like. We will have a full breakdown of this this weekend, prior to the start of free agency.

We will obviously have more on this, including a full scouting report tomorrow. For now, tell us how you feel.

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