There’s this saying that goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This is probably the argument of some Miami Heat fans who would say that they should just keep their current roster intact and see how far they go this season.
The Heat have been the surprise team of the NBA and are currently clinging to the no. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference. However, on paper, this team probably doesn’t have a high enough ceiling to achieve its goal of winning an NBA championship.
Enter New Orleans Pelicans star Jrue Holiday, who is an ideal trade target for the Heat. They should really pursue a trade for the two-way guard as he would instantly raise the ceiling of this Miami squad. His addition gives Miami another All-Star caliber player in his prime that they can pair with their incumbent All-Star Jimmy Butler.
Holiday is probably the perfect player to slot into Miami’s roster. He brings them a versatile two-way combo guard that can handle the rock, create his own shots, and make plays for others. He doesn’t have any problems with playing off the ball either.
Likewise, Holiday is one of the best on-ball defenders in the league, and putting him alongside Butler on the perimeter will give Miami a juggernaut defensive backcourt.
Holiday has also shown that he is prime time baller when it matters most. Even though it’s just one playoff run with the Pelicans in 2018, fans scoffing at this idea of acquiring him can’t deny how instrumental he was during those playoffs. Through nine games in the 2018 postseason, he put up averages of 23.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 6.3 assists while shooting 51.8 percent from the field and 32 percent from deep.
In their first round series sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers, he posted 27.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 6.5 assists with an extremely efficient 56.8 percent shooting from the field. And he did all of that while locking down Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum on the other end.
Miami has a ton of assets at their disposal that they can include in a blockbuster deal for Holiday. But it would have to be enticing enough for the Pelicans to let go of their All-Star veteran.
Holiday is making $26.1-million this year and is still under contract for two more seasons after this that includes a player option worth roughly $26.3-million in the 2021-22 season. Miami has the luxury of attaching some of their veterans given the emergence of some of their young stars who are under cheap deals.
For cap-space purposes, a package will have to include two of the following expendable veterans who are under contract in the $11 to 15-million range this season: James Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Meyers Leonard, or Dion Waiters. Perhaps New Orleans could also ask for someone like Goran Dragic or maybe Justice Winslow instead, both of whom are still key staples in the Miami rotation this year.
Surely, the Heat will have to include Kendrick Nunn – who has emerged out of nowhere as their starting point guard – in the deal and perhaps a future pick or two to sweeten the pot. Rookie Tyler Herro, by all accounts, should be untouchable.
Whatever the package may be, a deal for Holiday will be worth it for Miami.