The New Orleans Pelicans have a lot of questions to answer this offseason, especially if stars Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday are traded.
Now with David Griffin running their front office, it is possible that he can persuade Davis to stay with the team. But if the big man is convinced that a new chapter of his career is necessary, it likely makes the most sense for the Pelicans to go for a full rebuild.
That, of course, would mean also trading 28-year-old guard Holiday for some assets that fit better into a younger timeline. According to Sean Deveney, the Phoenix Suns are considered front-runners if such a trade becomes available (via Sporting News):
“League sources say the Suns are considered a top contender should Holiday be made available, the ideal fit for a team badly in need of a multifaceted veteran at the point. But Orlando would have interest, too, as would Chicago – though Holiday’s brother, Justin, did not have a sterling experience with the Bulls this season before being traded to the Grizzlies.”
Holiday makes perfect sense for the backcourt in Phoenix as a partner with Devin Booker. He is a plus-threat on offense with complementary skills to what the roster already has while also considered an elite defensive option, which is perhaps the area where Booker needs the most help.
He perfectly resembles the player the organization likely hopes that Phoenix 2018-19 rookie De’Anthony Melton will eventually become, with plus skills on both sides of the floor. As a combo guard, Holiday’s presence would also allow Booker to play more on-ball than an otherwise traditional point guard.
The Suns have success when Booker has the ball in his hands and Holiday can play more off-ball with their star running the pick-and-roll. With how the guard can match up on defense, too, it’s hard to imagine a better fit.
While the Suns were recently linked to upcoming rookie point guard Ja Morant, the idea of selecting a 19-year-old to pair with Booker and big man Deandre Ayton could push back their window yet another few years.
But if they added a veteran like Holiday to the mix, they could come closer to contention. With the ownership involvement of Robert Sarver, who prefers a winning organization, don’t be surprised if the Suns offer up valuable picks as well as members of their young core to land an offensive and defensive talent like Holiday.
For someone like Holiday who is originally from Los Angeles, too, it would be the closest he has played to his hometown since college at UCLA.