Lakers should trade for Jrue Holiday!
Why a Lakers’ trade of Danny Green, Kyle Kuzma, and pieces for the Pelicans’ Jrue Holiday would be a solid win-win deal for both teams
If the New Orleans Pelicans are serious about trading Jrue Holiday, the Los Angeles Lakers should go all-in to trade for the 29-year old point guard as he’s the perfect third star to play with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
While the Lakers are tied with the Bucks for the best record in the NBA at 24–4, their recent loss to the Pacers without Anthony Davis exposed their need for a third star who can take over a game to help LeBron and AD win. There may not be another star player on the market who’s a better fit for the Lakers than Holiday, a former All-Star and two-time All-Defensive player who’s averaging 19.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game.
Jrue checks all the boxes on the Lakers’ wish list for a third star to go with LeBron and AD. He’s a proven 20 points per game scorer who can get his own shot, make plays for teammates, and defend his position with the best. The bonus of trading for Holiday is it would reunite him with his former Pelicans teammate Anthony Davis, with whom he had developed great rapport and chemistry playing together for six year in New Orleans.
Putting together a trade for Holiday would not be easy as the Lakers have limited trading chips to offer since several players have de facto no-trade contracts and the Pelicans already have all their upcoming draft picks. Holiday currently earns $26.2 million with two years remaining after this year, although he does have a player option for summer of 2022, when the Lakers tentatively hope to clear cap space for Giannis Antetounmpo.
Since the Pelicans are looking for young talent that better fits the timeline of Zion and their young roster plus draft picks, the offer that makes sense for the Lakers to make would be Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, and pieces. Kuzma’s a young player the Pels coveted in the Anthony Davis trade but Lakers wouldn’t include and Danny Green is an elite two-way veteran New Orleans could easily flip to a third team for a first round draft pick.
Dudley, Daniels, and Cook are essentially ballast in the trade the Pelicans could either keep on their roster, trade for second round picks, or waive. Here’s the proposed Lakers’ and Pelicans’ trade for Jrue Holiday:
The trade would give the Lakers that elusive third star they desperately need to complement LeBron and AD plus a legitimate third scoring threat and elite point guard to get the ball to Davis when James is on the bench. The trade would also give the Lakers’ starting lineup better offensive firepower and point of attack defense with Holiday at the one, Bradley at the two, LeBron at the three, AD at the four, and McGee at the five.
While the Lakers would sacrifice some of their early season depth in the trade, they would still have Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso, and Dwight Howard as trusted major contributors off the bench. Trading minimal contributors like Kyle Kuzma, Jared Dudley, Quinn Cook, and Troy Daniels would free minutes for young players like Talen Horton-Tucker and Devontae Cacok or buyout candidates like Andre Iguodala.
The trade would give the Pelicans another budding young star in Kyle Kuzma, another first round pick by flipping Danny Green, and three quality vets to keep or trade for second rounders in Dudley, Cook, and Daniels. Since the Pelicans already own all the Lakers’ first round picks due to the Anthony Davis trade, New Orleans could sweeten the Jrue Holiday trade by getting the Lakers to improve the protection on the draft picks they own.
Right now, the Knicks, Heat, Raptors, and Lakers have been mentioned as the teams most interested in trading for Jrue Holiday and none of the offers being discussed includes a young player with the potential of Kyle Kuzma.
With the clock ticking on LeBron James’ eventual retirement and Anthony Davis’ looming free agency, the Lakers cannot afford to stand pat, not when there’s a chance of landing a star like Jrue Holiday, who’s a perfect fit.
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