UPDATE: Nov. 12, 2:00 p.m. — The Boston Celtics are the latest team reportedly interested in Holiday, per Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Now, nothing against O’Connor, but this is more of a rumor/speculation than a report in my eyes. The Celtics don’t need help at guard, they need help in the front court. I guess if the Celtics really wanted to they could flip Jaylen Brown for Holiday, but that doesn’t feel like a big step forward. Boston also has Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart.
The Atlanta Hawks have emerged as a potential destination for New Orleans Pelicans G Jrue Holiday via trade, Marc Stein of The New York Times reported Wednesday afternoon. Holiday has been the talk of trade rumors for New Orleans the past two seasons. Stein also reports that there’s been talk of a multi-team deal centered around Atlanta’s No. 6 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Update: For full transparency, there’s a conflicting report from Chris Kirschner of The Athletic saying that the Hawks aren’t a destination for Holiday. This isn’t to say Stein is wrong. Just throwing it out there.
Holiday has two years remaining on his contract with the final year being a player option worth $27 million. The Hawks don’t have a high payroll and have the flexibility right now to make a move to add another piece in Holiday, who would compliment Trae Young in the Hawks’ backcourt. Young, big man John Collins and young wings De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish are all on rookie contracts.
Holiday is expected to decline his player option after the 2020-21 season, per Stein. If that’s the case, whoever trades for him is essentially making a deal for possibly a rental player, unless the team can convince Holiday to sign again long-term. The issue there — as I alluded to before — is that Atlanta has a slew of young players who will need to get paid over the course of the next 3-4 seasons. The Hawks have time before Young, Reddish and Hunter would need extensions, though Collins can be extended this offseason in the final year of his deal.
Chances are Reddish or Hunter would be involved in a trade for Holiday, most likely going to the third team involved. If the Pelicans were to get the No. 6 overall pick for Holiday, it would be a coup, really. New Orleans already has one of the best young cores in the NBA. Being able to add another lottery-caliber player — albeit in a weak draft — is very enticing for new coach Stan Van Gundy. The Pelicans could also flip the pick for another established player or even trade up in an attempt to land, say, LaMelo Ball? It’s possible the Pels are trying to team up LaMelo with his brother Lonzo Ball in the same backcourt.