TRADE SZN PICKING UP STEAM: On Tuesday, the New York Times’ Marc Stein reported Jrue Holiday has been made available for trade by the Pelicans. In previous years, New Orleans had become known for considering Holiday an untouchable, but, apparently, with the team struggling to the tune of a 6-22 record, including an ugly franchise-record 13-game losing streak, that might no longer the case.
It’s hard to fault Holiday for the Pelicans’ struggles, as the 29-year-old ball-handler is averaging 19.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.7 steals nightly while shooting 44.6 percent from the floor. What’s more, according to Synergy, Holiday ranks as an excellent scorer in isolation and as a cutter, which proves how effective the Pelicans guard remains as a point-producer.
If Holiday were to get dealt, he’d become the first at least one-time All-Star to get traded since 2017, when the Grizzlies dealt Marc Gasol Cousins to the Raptors. Holiday is the type of player who would fit in just about any situation, particularly on playoff-caliber teams, and we broke down four situations where he’d make a lot of sense if he were to get traded.
LAST NIGHT IN THE ASSOCIATION: A long road winning streak ended while a team that made a coaching change picked up another impressive win.
🚒 The Lakers fell to the Pacers 105-102, snapping their insane 14-game road winning streak in the process. Domantas Sabonis was Indiana’s best player, going off for 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting to go with 10 rebounds and four assists. On the other side, LeBron James dropped a 20/9/9 stat line, but missed all six of his three-point attempts. Anthony Davis missed the contest to nurse an ankle injury.
😳 The Knicks won their third game in their last six tries, all following the dismissal of David Fizdale, taking down the Hawks 143-120. RJ Barrett had arguably his best game as a pro, scoring 27 points on 13 shot attempts, while Marcus Morris chipped in with 22 points and four rebounds. For Atlanta, Trae Young went off for 42 points and eight assists, but didn’t receive much help.
ANOTHER POTENTIAL DEAL? Julius Randle is another player who could reportedly be traded. Randle has taken a big step back this season, averaging 17.4 points (down from 21.4 last year) on 44.6 percent shooting. A change of scenery might do him some good.
💸 Randle is currently on Year-1 of a three-year, $62.1 million contract, which has him as the 26th highest-paid forward in the league this season.
TWO BIG RETURNS: Two of the league’s most promising young talents returned from long absences yesterday.
🤴 De’Aaron fox returned from a 17-game absence (ankle), playing 30 minutes for the Kings, and scoring 19 points to go with eight assists.
☀️ Deandre Ayton’s 25-game suspension ended last night, and the big man was solid in his return, scoring 18 points, securing 12 rebounds and dishing out three assists.
BUCKS CO-OWNER NOT WORRIED: Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lesry isn’t sweating any of the rumors about Giannis Antetokounmpo’s future, since he believes in the team’s ownership and overall culture.
GET TO KNOW THE BEARD: USA Today wrote a fun feature breaking down five things people may not know about former league MVP James Harden.
SUPERMAN NOT ROBIN: The Rockets don’t want Russell Westbrook to change his strong personality, because they believe if Westbrook is enforcing his will, that’s the best potential version of the eight-time All-Star.
THE LONG THREE: The deep three-pointer is becoming a more popular shot over recent years; Damian Lillard joined ESPN to discuss why players are taking those looks more often, with ESPN taking a fascinating look at the analytics behind it.
PLAYER OPENS UP: 2018-19 was the hardest season of Will Barton’s career, due to injury and poor form upon returning. He’s bounced back wonderfully this season, averaging 15.0 points and 6.8 rebounds. Barton opened up about his resurgent campaign, and what the struggles last year were like.
AGGREGATE MOCK: We have the latest aggregate mock draft for 2020, where we take all of the top prognosticators and average them out to see where the top prospects are projected to be selected.
FRESH POD: Nine-year NBA veteran Etan Thomas joined Alex Kennedy to discuss his career, what open-heart surgery was like and what Michael Jordan was like as a teammate.
PROMISING ADDITION: The Lakers could have a diamond-in-the-rough in their newest addition, Devontae Cacok, who was an excellent rebounder and down-load scorer in the G League.
OLYMPIC PAU: The Spanish basketball federation wants Pau Gasol to suit up for his country at the 2020 Olympic Games. Gasol is currently rehabbing from a foot injury and is expected to join the Blazers’ coaching staff soon.
PRAYERS UP: The NBA announced yesterday that former league commissioner David Stern remains in serious condition following his brain hemorrhage last Thursday.
PARTY TIME: Shaquille O’Neal is throwing a massive party in Miami for Super Bowl LIV, a party that Shaq says will be the best party in Miami history. Bold words, but totally possible for the extravagant 7-footer.
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