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

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Published: June 27, 2013
Jrue-Holiday-Philadelphia-76ers

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.

146 comments
Eric Forman
Eric Forman

We're making the playoffs. That means the pick is out of the lottery, so at that point, it's a serious crap shoot anyway. People who don't like this trade just don't know Jrue Holiday. He is a young stud (just turned 23 a week ago), and he has a lot of potential to keep growing. Dell got a STEAL!!!

BrandonHebert
BrandonHebert

I'm sorry to kill the good vibe that everyone seems to have about it, but how does no one else see how TERRIBLE this trade was? Spin it however you want to, Mike, but the bottom line is, we wasted a ton of value here. Why in the world would you not just draft McLemore, Burke, MCW, or McCollum and save your pick in next years draft class which is supposedly stacked? I figured when we took Noel that we would be trading him. Then, when we did, and I heard it was for Holiday, I was hoping we got something else out of the trade on the side. But then I read that, not only were we not getting more value out of it, but we were actually swapping a 1st round pick in a great draft class for a 2nd round pick in a mediocre one?! Everything the Pelicans did today made me scratch my head. 6ers made out like bandits on this deal.

504ever
504ever

Totally awesome trade and a great write-up Michael.  A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, especially when the bird in the hand is a durable, athletic all-star PG on a good four year contract.


The most overlooked parts of the trade are: Vasquez, who management loves, can be do-it-all backup and give us minutes at PG, SG, and SF.  And we can use the MLE (which I think will be $5M over four years for the Pelicans this year) and then resign Animu, who pairs well with quality perimeter shooting PFs Anderson or Smith.  This trade works from so many angles.  Just wait and see.

Plus Dell likely isn't done yet.  Brewer would likely fit in the MLE, and the MLE can be split among multiple players!

DavidLBrown
DavidLBrown

This is hardly a "Blockbuster Trade". We traded a player coming off of an injury that 5 other teams passed on for an above average point guard. This trade signals to me that Demps knows that he could not attract A or B level free agents and that this was the only way for him to address a need he felt the team had. I am sure he has other deals in the works, but now he has used a lot of his cap space. The only free agents he can sign now are C and D level guys. Get ready for more Roger Masons.

mrcatz22
mrcatz22

Love this trade so much. I wanted us to use our cap space on a higher tier center (Pekovic or maybe Al Jefferson) but I think this was something we couldn't pass on. We now have 4 potential all stars covering 3 positions. Plus a solid backup Center in Jason Smith (the day we get rid of him is the day I leave the city in tears) and a maybe possible somewhat decent backup SG in Rivers (maybe). 

We should try and work some deal that ships out Lopez for someone with a better post game (maybe Asik, I dunno right now but the Rockets could land Howard). And Vasquez could contribute coming off the bench but he does have high trade value now which isn't going to be higher. Whatever cap we have left (if any) could be used for a cheap SF (maybe Budinger or Brewer). 


Though overall this is excellent and unless the ping pong balls screw us over  (if in lottery) or injuries hit us hard again. Still laughing that the Sixers went after an injured center after the Bynum situation though

CoReMeGa
CoReMeGa

AMAZING!!!!!!!!

This trade is absolutely brilliant! Gr8 point about the 2014 pick, totally agree because we will hopefully be an 8th seed next year! I was excited about NERLINS in NAWLINS but I mean.. he's a ?, the 2014 pick is a ?... this is AWESOME!

loudlikepat
loudlikepat

Seems like everyone is forgetting about one thing. Jrue is going to make it SO much easier to convince free agents that NOLA is a good destination. We just improved our young core by leaps and bounds with one move. I wish Dell Demos had a jersey. I would buy that buy that shit so fast!

PelicanFever
PelicanFever

Bottom line - we got our big 3-4 today. 

Davis, Holiday, Gordon, and Anderson is perhaps the best core for the next 5 years, at least in the top 3. Holiday is on a great contract. Ryan Anderson is on a great contract. Anthony Davis is on a rookie deal. Eric Gordon... I'll get back to you on that (but seriously,  it balances out to be a positive, right?). 

Noel got passed on by 5 teams because they were worried about his knee. The guy is SUPER raw offensively, and probably would not have been a good player for a couple of years. His ceiling is high, but his floor is low. He's a risk! A big risk at that! 

Regarding next year's pick - we have no idea what it's going to end up being. Most likely, it'll be anywhere from 10-15. We don't know who's going to be there next year. Historically speaking, 10-15 is okay to pick at, but we're talking about a borderline starter maybe. The Raptors pick sounded really nice for OKC, but they got Steven Adams for that. How exciting..

So basically we traded two TOTALLY unknowns, one coming off a big injury (no matter how much people try playing it off, an ACL injury is really severe and will cut into Noel's development), and in return, we got a 23 year old All-Star point guard on a great contract, establishing our long term core. 

I'll take that any day. 

Hank_
Hank_

have to go after omer asik now in my opinion


saZam2
saZam2

Now to see improvement at SF and Center

This is exciting!

yaboytonez
yaboytonez

I will still attend the games. The product the Pels will put on the floor this year is definitely improved in the back court, not so much in the front court.

hewhorocks
hewhorocks

To be clear, I think the Pel's will be better and more entertaining next year.  I just think they had much more glaring needs than another PG. 

mojart
mojart

now...i hope jamaal franklin or whithey fall to #42 and maybe i change my grade to A....i vote for B

dschmid4
dschmid4

The so called "stepian rule" prohibits NBA teams from trading their future first rounders in consecutive years.

Not sure if we got around this because after a player is picked they are a player and not a "pick". So we traded Noel and next years first rounder? Does anyone know the details on this rule?


Houpgarou
Houpgarou

Amazing, great trade!!!!! Jrue turned 23 last week is a two way player, and has a great, value contract, how does Dell do it.

Philly is tanking as is Boston Atlanta and the usual suspects. Do we want to drag Antony down in a race to the bottom?
Greatest need for pels was clearly pg,  and did we want to coddle one of the huge question marks in this draft? No, we got an all star! Good luck  elsewhere Brandon jennings!

It's obvious our greatest weakness was perimeter d, help on the way!
Love how quickly we made the trade and the pick, showing evidence of preplanning.  How did the gms before us fail to pick a player that could be flipped for real assets rather than huge ? S I don't know but once again gladDell is our gm. Finally I repeat that I'm amazes by the fact that Dell time and time again gets players on major value contracts. When jrue is in his prime hell still be @ 11M a year

mateor
mateor

Too much...I don't think we could have afforded to keep Noel. Keeping him as a player basically punts an entire season and basically punts Ryan Anderson's time as a Pelican to boot. But including a top-5 protected...too much.

Protected in the top-ten, then we are talking. But top five picks are hard to come by. We were terrible this year and still picked outside the top five. I think we should have gotten the  number 11 pick as well....I just am not too certain about this trade. 

Our depth is still a huge issue and bars us from the playoffs in my opinion.

yaboytonez
yaboytonez

Here's another good question. We got Vasquez, Gordon, Rivers, & Holiday...what about Brian Roberts?

Ddiamondd
Ddiamondd

I love the trade. We get better now and for the future. If we gave Iggy, Deng or Granger a big contract, they would start to decline as their cap hit continued to rise. Holiday is 23 and is on a very fair contract. We'll be better next year and we'll be much better in the long term. Hopefully the pick next year will be in the 12-16 range anyway; even in the lauded 2003 draft, after Wade, there isn't much talent. AD, Ryno and Holiday sounds sweet to me. Way to go Dell.

Jared Ennis
Jared Ennis

@BrandonHebert So you think this was a terrible trade? No, the James Harden trade was a terrible trade, the Pau Gasol trade was a terrible trade. Before Doug Collins pretty much quit on Philly after February, he was averaging 19 points a game, 9 assists per, 1.5 steals per, and shot about 45 %. Those are solid numbers considering the only offensive help he had was Evan Turner (.....yeah). (He has never played with a stretch 4 like Anderson, a freak athlete like Davis, and a supporting SG like Gordon.) After, February Collins pretty much quit on his team, causing a dip in his numbers. 

Second, you would honestly take Mclemore over a proven guy who puts up those numbers? Well.... that's sad on your part. Burke over Holliday? Really bro? I would take the PROVEN player who measures better in just about every meaningful category. MCW couldn't shoot three's to save his life. Holliday shot at 35 % (the point guard average for the league is about 37 %, so he is an average three point shooter compared to a guy who couldn't hit from the college line), CJ McCollum is an interesting player who I would of liked but keep in mind that he has yet to play and will be 22 at the start of the season (compared to Holliday being 23), McCollum is coming of a bad foot injury (Holliday has played in 298 of a possible 312 games in his career), and that Holliday is once again, a PROVEN All-Star.

Draft picks are enticing because of what they could become. As Ryan has stated before, your chances of getting a high impact player after the fifth pick go down drastically. There are chances of you finding good players after that, but they are rare. Hence, why the pick is top 5 protected. The draft next year appears to have 5 guys who will be very good, assuming they don't bomb in college like Shabazz or Steven Adams.

I don't see how we finish worse than 10th next year with a point guard who can do things like defend, run the pick n' roll, defend, drive, and oh yeah defend. We were 7 wins away from picking 12th. Had Eric Gordon been there the first half of last season, we would of won at least seven more. But I digress, let's say we win the 10th pick in the lottery and Philly gets it in this "loaded draft". Here is every 10th pick since 2000:

2000-Kenyon Dooling

2001- Joe Johnson

2002- Caron Butler

2003- Jarvis Hayes

2004- Luke Jackson

2005- Andrew Bynum

2006-Saer Sene

2007- Spencer Hawes

2008- Brook Lopez

2009- Brandon Jennings

2010-Paul George

2011- Jimmer Fredette

2012- Austin Rivers

Only guy who I can say is a high impact player is Paul George. Even in the loaded 2003 draft that brought us Melo, James, and Wade had busts. Holliday, on the other hand, is a high impact player who was the best player in Philly.

In conclusion, the only way I see our 2014 pick having the value you think it has, is if we pick in the top 5 (And with Davis, Gordon, Anderson, Holliday- No way we pick in the top 5 barring injury). Holliday is infinitely better than Noel. We were so limited in what we could do offensively because of Vasquez's lack of speed. This trade was far from horrible. We gave up a guy with injury concerns and a likely pick in the teens for an All-Star point who is only 23.

504ever
504ever

@BrandonHebert  

Where do you think Holiday would have been drafted if he was in this draft as the player he is today?  Try OVERWHELMINGLY #1 by a wide margin, like Davis last year.  If we traded AD right now, what would you except for him?  I bet it's a lot more that a 6th pick and a 1-5 protected pick!

josephplum
josephplum

@DavidLBrown 
Top prospect for all-star sounds like a blockbuster to me. If Noel was drafted by Boston and Holiday came from Chicago ESPN would explode with headlines. It changes some of the NBA landscape.


hewhorocks
hewhorocks

If CP3 couldnt convince FA to come to Nola Jrue is not going to. 

Houpgarou
Houpgarou

@Hank_ hurt our flexibility to do so unless they take money back, maybe rolo. not sure at what point his money stays unguaranteed til but if they can trade for him and cut him that has appeal to them in the Dwight chase.  Salaries would work in that case, not sure what else they'd want but i'd love to see it happen

cnoel23
cnoel23

@yaboytonez The season doesn't start tomorrow and I definitely don't think Dell is done.  We came out of this draft with a proven All-Star PG locked up for the next four years.  That is an excellent draft.

hewhorocks
hewhorocks

Funny how Del couldnt get the 35 out of them....Still WTH is going on with the 42 pick????Another PG?

hewhorocks
hewhorocks

The greatest need for the Pel's statistically was at the 3. At PG the Pel's have been better than average. Heck the Pel's have traded away more decent PG talent in the last 3 years than most teams ever see. 

cnoel23
cnoel23

@mateor We got a 23 year old ALL-STAR.   How many teams will say that tonight?  Probably none. 

Holliday has more impact next season than any player taken in this draft.  As for the price, the #6 pick this year and a protected pick next year is a very small price.   Even if the worst case scenario happens and we have the #6 pick next year, which it won't, I still think the price is fair.  To get a proven All-Star at age 23, you have to take that.

hewhorocks
hewhorocks

Jrue was a 17th pick himself. He worked out. I dont think the trade makes the Pel's worse, I think it sells them short.

yaboytonez
yaboytonez

Holiday is a 4 year player, he was drafted 17th overall. He has 1 good season.

BrandonHebert
BrandonHebert

@504ever everything you said just now was speculation and opinion. Holiday is NOT Anthony Davis and we don't have to trade for him because we were lucky enough to draft him. No one knows where he would have gone in this year's draft, but from a value standpoint, there were players left at No. 6 that, combined with next another 1st round pick next year, would add up to give us more value than Jrue Holiday. Especially considering the fact that several players in next years draft could have been the top pick in this year's.

BrandonHebert
BrandonHebert

@mrcatz22I think you have the wrong idea of "top 5 protected". We only get to KEEP the pick if it ends up being a top 5 pick. Anything after 5, the pick belongs to the 76ers.

CoReMeGa
CoReMeGa

@Caffeinedisaster @DavidLBrown Hands down. Holiday is waaaaaay better then all of the other options that they have written Gr8 articles on this site about. Jennings, Jeff Teague, trading all of our assets for Bledsoe... NO thank you. I don't know why everyone was all about giving up Vasques/Lopez and 2014 1st round pick to get Bledsoe... well Holiday is waaaaay better the Bledsoe!

loudlikepat
loudlikepat

You're forgetting about how unstable the organization was at that time. Shitty or no owner, bad coach and players back then couldn't single handedly fire a coach as easily.

Hank_
Hank_

@Houpgarou agreed they would definitely have to get rid of rolo. He isnt a fit anymore in my opinion but I would take Asik on his 8 mil contract for the next years. perfect fit and right when his contract runs out Davis should be on schedule to take over the center position

yaboytonez
yaboytonez

One breakout season doesn't make you a proven pg.

cnoel23
cnoel23

@hewhorocks Vazquez was serviceable.  I wouldn't call him better than average.  He's not one of the Top 15 PG's in the NBA and we upgraded to get a 23 year old All-Star PG. 

mateor
mateor

@cnoel23 @mateor 

well...those guys have yet to play. I don't know...I am on the fence and that probably means it was a fair trade. But something keeps tugging at me about including that draft pick next year. Philly wants a chance at next year's number one...they are going to absolutely suck next year, If we also struggle, they can come out of this with two top ten picks in a legendarily loaded draft ('14) and  20 year old Nerlens Noel, who could have gone 1 this year. Not to mention a now pristine cap sheet.


Not a bad trade for Jrue Holiday, somewhere in the vicinity of the top 10-12 PGs in the league.


I am willing to be positive, the Pels have a lot of pieces I love and Jrue looks to fit well. But I think we could have gotten either more protection, or their first rounder this year. (only number 12)

cnoel23
cnoel23

@hewhorocks Short of what??  a SF?  Porter was off the board and there weren't any other SF's to draft here.  If you wanted us to keep Noel to help the frontcourt, I don't know why.  He is a project offensively and coming off a major injury.  Yes, I think he is a great defensive talent, but what did we really give up here?

yaboytonez
yaboytonez

"I don't think it makes the Pels worse, it sells them short" perfect take on this trade.

BrandonHebert
BrandonHebert

@504ever lol obviously no one here knows exactly what's going to happen, but when I said "speculation" I was more talking about the fact that you said Jrue would have been the #1 pick in this year's draft and put him on the same level as AD. So quick to jump down someone's throat before simply asking them to explain. haha

504ever
504ever

@BrandonHebert @504ever  

You make no sense.  Everything everyone is saying here is speculative.  (Unless you think you, and you alone, can see the future.)  What a poorly reasoned dodge of my question!

hewhorocks
hewhorocks

Not forgetting. Just dont think that anyone says to CP3 "I'd love to win championships with you and David West but I'm not going to play for Byron scott.

hewhorocks
hewhorocks

Stats say Vazquez was better than average. Still Jrue is certainly quicker but he's not been vastly superior. He has is near the leauge lead in Turnovers. He is a one time allstar no question. I just dont think its the long term strategy of the trade makes sence unless you think that the trade makes them contenders now.

hewhorocks
hewhorocks

Well I hope my concerns are unfounded. Jrue will be looking for his big payday and maybe the Hornets will be able to take care of him then. 

It just seems to me that while they traded this years pick at its peak value they traded next years at its lowest point. 


cnoel23
cnoel23

@hewhorocks Disagree that Jrue will be gone.  We already have him locked up for the next four years and he is only 23.  If we are doing something special here with Anthony Davis and he likes New Orleans, why would he leave?

I still say that it is hard to pass up on proven All-Star caliber talent for a couple rolls of the dice.

hewhorocks
hewhorocks

My point is not that you keep Noel. I liked Burke, 10 million more cap space and a 2014 lottery pick. I think the trade says get as good as you can now even if it costs you future assets. I think you want your top players reaching their peak at the same time to contend. By the time Davis (and perhaps Rivers) reach their peak, Jrue will be gone and their wont be young talent coming up behind to replace him as they will likely be out of the lottery by then.