Should the Denver Nuggets go all in on Jrue Holiday?
That is the question ahead of Thursday afternoons trade deadline as the Nuggets find themselves in an interesting situation. On one hand, you have Holiday and everything he brings to the team both offensively and defensively. On the other, you run the risk or trading away some players that have helped get you to where you are today.
The question really boils down to whether or not the Nuggets believe they can win a championship this season. If the answer is yes, there would be no reason to make a trade and possibly mess up the structure of the roster. If the answer is no or if there is any doubt, then I think you have to make the move for Holiday.
The Nuggets are in a situation where the Western Conference is more wide open then ever before and they must capitalize. Golden State has represented the Western Conference in the NBA Finals going on five years now, but that will certainly not be the case this season. The Warriors currently hold the worst record in the NBA at 12-39, which opens the door for teams like the Nuggets to make a run.
When news came out just a few months ago that Holiday may become available, the Nuggets always seemed like a good fit, which made it no surprise when Shams Charania reported last week that Denver had interest along with Miami.
Even though the asking price seems high it feels like the Nuggets have enough assets to get a deal done. Zach Lowe of ESPN released an article on Monday that also mentioned the Nuggets interest in Holiday, which also went a little more in depth on what it might take to acquire him.
The biggest asset the Nuggets could part with is Gary Harris, who is currently the teams longest tenured (2014) player. Harris has spent all six on his NBA seasons with the Nuggets and would be a hard player to move on from.
On the season, Harris is averaging just 10.5 points per game, which is the lowest mark of his career since his rookie season. Even though his defense has been solid, Harris’ game offensively has really dropped off, which is where Holiday could really upgrade.
Holiday is averaging 19.7 points per game in 41 starts this season and is shooting 35 percent from beyond the arc. Harris on the other hand is shooting just 31 percent from three, while Holiday attempts almost two more threes per game.
In almost every offensive category it feels like Holiday has a massive leg up on Harris and we have yet to even get into the defense. Nuggets fans have seen it when Denver has faced Holiday this season — especially on Christmas day — but he truly is one of the best defenders in the NBA.
After making All-Defense First Team in 2018 for the first time, Holiday followed that up by making second-team last season. Holiday averages just under two steals per game (1.7) and has a knack for making life hard on the opposing team's best player.
The thing you also have to think about is age as Harris is just 24 years old, while Holiday is 29. Holiday makes about six million more than Harris when you compare their contracts and both players will become unrestricted free agents after the 2021-22 season.
To make a trade work the Nuggets would almost certainly have to include Harris along with someone like Malik Beasley and even Juancho Hernangomez. Beasley and Hernangomez are both restricted free agents at the end of the season, so moving on from either or both could be easier than potentially losing them for nothing in the offseason.
In that scenario, the Nuggets would be losing two more players that have been essential in the franchises rebuild. Beasley and Hernangomez both joined the Nuggets in the same draft class with Jamal Murray and those three are to help thank for where the team is today, along with Nikola Jokic and a few others.
A change of scenery might not be bad thing for either Beasley or Hernangomez as both players have been in and out of the rotation this season. The Nuggets have just so much depth that is feels like it may be time to consolidate, so why not go out and get a phenomenal player in Holiday while doing just that.
The question really boils down to whether or not the Nuggets think they have what it takes to win a championship this season. If they do not think they can, then hold onto your talent and continue to grow this season.
If a championship is the goal though, then Holiday is well worth the risk. What do you think Nuggets fans, should the Nuggets go all in for Holiday?