There has been a ton of talk over the past year that Jrue Holiday could be the Nuggets missing piece to make a championship run. The only snag was that New Orleans never seemed willing to part with Holiday.
Well, that could change this offseason as Shams Charania of The Athletic reported today that New Orleans is “openly discussing” offers for the 11-year NBA veteran.
Denver figures to be one of those contending teams in the mix for Holiday. Any trade for Holiday would almost certainly include the Nuggets first round pick from this years draft (22nd overall) along with a couple of Denver’s talented young players.
Any trade call with New Orleans is going to start by the Pelicans asking for Michael Porter Jr. and it seems unlikely — and rightfully so — that Denver would include their young star in any deal for Holiday. The player Denver could be more likely to part with is Bol Bol, who showed flashes of greatness in the NBA bubble.
A trade that includes a first round pick and Bol Bol is a great starting point, but the Nuggets might have to do a little more to beat out a competing offer. A player like Gary Harris would likely have to go to New Orleans as well, which wouldn't hurt the Nuggets considering Holiday would be taking his spot in the rotation.
Harris’ offense has taken a downward trend over the past two seasons, but he is still one of the most underrated defenders in the NBA. When Harris retuned from injury to help the Nuggets advance to the Western Conference Finals this past season, not only was his defense on full display, but his offense started to show signs of life.
Another thing involving any deal surrounding Harris and Holiday is the age difference. Harris will be 26 next season, while Holiday turns 31 next June. That four year difference might not seem like much, but as Nuggets fans saw this past season with Paul Millsap, the decline in an older players game can hit fairly quickly.
One positive is Holiday hasn't shown any decline in his game that would cause you to worry. Holiday has put together three consecutive seasons of averaging at least 19 points, six assists, and four rebounds a game. His best season came two years ago when Holiday averaged 21.2 points, 7.7 assists, and five rebounds a game.
Holiday would not only provide the Nuggets with another scorer, but he could help solidify their defense. In 2018, Holiday was named to the All-Defensive First Team and in 2019 he was named to the All-Defensive Second Team. Holiday also won the NBA’s Teammate of the Year award this past season, so you wouldn't just be acquiring a great basketball player, but you would be adding a great person to your basketball team as well.
One thing to consider in acquiring Holiday is his contract situation. Holiday becomes an unrestricted free agent after next season, so there is a possibility he only plays in Denver for one year. If history has taught us anything it’s that Denver values the players they trade for, so if Holiday plays well there is a chance the Nuggets could just extend him long-term.
There is still a ton to play out though and the Nuggets are going to have to outbid some contending teams if they truly want to acquire Holiday. The real question is would Holiday push the Nuggets past a team like the Lakers? or should the Nuggets trust the process and not mortgage their future for a veteran player like Holiday?
You tell us in the comments below, should the Nuggets go all in on Holiday?