The New Orleans Pelicans were not expected to be one of the worst teams in the NBA this season despite trading away Anthony Davis.
The thought was that Jrue Holiday could lead the Pelicans adequately while the new additions from the Lakers and Zion Williamson would contribute significantly. Given the underachieving 6-21 record that New Orleans currently boasts, a shift in course seems to have taken place.
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the two players the Pelicans consider as being ‘untouchables' include Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. However, New Orleans ‘remains reluctant' to trade J.J. Redick, but Holiday is ‘indeed available.'
Yet what that also means is Jrue Holiday is indeed available via trade, league sources say. It would surely cost a significant amount to pry him away from the Pels, but this is a notable change in status given how unavailable Holiday was to interested teams last season
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 17, 2019
Holiday is having another productive season with respectable averages of 19.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 1.8 steals so far. However, he hasn't quite lived up to the MVP level of play that Pelicans President of Basketball Operations David Griffin thought was possible before the season began.
There are three teams, in particular, that make plenty of sense as landing spots for Holiday if the Pelicans were to trade him away.
3. Phoenix Suns
While the Phoenix Suns signed Ricky Rubio in the offseason and he has provided a spark to their team, making a push for a player of Jrue Holiday's caliber would be advantageous. They are currently ninth in the Western Conference standings with an 11-15 record and could use a bit of a push to ensure themselves of a playoff spot this season.
Let's not forget that the Suns currently have Monty Williams as their head coach, someone who was previously Holiday's coach in New Orleans. Having familiarity between Williams and Holiday could help them hit the ground running after being re-united while giving Devin Booker more help in the scoring department.
2. Miami Heat
With a 19-8 record so far this season, the Miami Heat have found themselves fourth in the Eastern Conference standings. They are right in the mix for the third and second spot and acquiring a player of Jrue Holiday's caliber would provide a needed boost.
The question isn't mostly isn't whether Holiday makes sense for the Heat, it's more so about what pieces would Miami give up in a potential trade? If they were willing to part ways with a talented young player or two, that would likely go a long way in putting together a sufficient trade package that would interest the Pelicans.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
It's no secret that the Timberwolves are interested in making an upgrade at the point guard position. They were previously connected to D'Angelo Russell in the summer and have been linked to Kyle Lowry at times, too. The availability of a player like Jrue Holiday should certainly catch their attention.
The level of play that Karl-Anthony Towns has achieved has been nothing short of spectacular. In addition, Andrew Wiggins has showed significant strides lately as well. Going out to acquire a player like Holiday to add into the mix could help them reach the next tier as a team.