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Examining the potential of the Pelicans trading Jrue Holiday for the Hawks No. 6 draft pick or the Suns No. 10 draft pick

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Jrue Holiday Trade Packages, Part II: Looking at two playoff hopefuls who might be seeking that important veteran

NBA: Preseason-New Orleans Pelicans at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

During the last offseason, The Bird Writes explored a bevy of trade scenarios involving Anthony Davis. With news that Jrue Holiday is seemingly more available on the market than ever, it’s time to repeat the exercise for the New Orleans favorite.

Make no mistake, it brings no joy to scour the league for potential Holiday landing spots. He’s the ultimate class act who has dedicated countless hours of making the Pelicans a better team these past seven seasons while also throwing his full support behind the New Orleans community.

In short: it’s going to really, really suck having to say goodbye one day.

While there’s a chance that Holiday and management can come to terms on an extension, the likelihood seems small. Reading the tea leaves and understanding NBA economics, it feels that he and the Pelicans are going to go their separate ways sometime before the next trade deadline. However, if there’s one satisfying side to the possible divorce, it’s that both parties will be better off in the long run for it — Jrue can seek greener pastures while New Orleans adds a vital third piece that can grow with the Zion Williamson/Brandon Ingram core.

So as to not belabor the thought any further of Holiday playing for a different team soon, here’s our favorite trade proposals regarding the Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix Suns.

Atlanta Hawks

Coming into this Holiday trade pod series, the Hawks were one of our favorites to find a good deal which satisfy both teams. Lo and behold, the Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor announced this morning that the Pelicans are in hot pursuit of Atlanta’s sixth pick.

Here was Kevin Barrios’ initial proposal on the podcast: Kevin Huerter + Dewayne Dedmon + #6 for Jrue Holiday + possibly a pick (#13 or hopefully a less valuable asset).

Atlanta doesn’t need to move Dedmon’s contract to make this deal work (they have the cap space to absorb Holiday), but New Orleans may need a veteran center if Jahlil Okafor and Derrick Favors are not brought back and the Pelicans prefer saving their exception money on addressing other problems with the roster.

Huerter is a nice-sized play-making guard with good accuracy from the perimeter. However, if David Griffin desires a player offering more defensive capability, he could ask for either De’Andre Hunter or Cam Reddish instead of Huerter.

Trae Young is a defensively liability and the Hawks wish to add a good veteran or two so trading for Holiday makes sense, especially if he opts into his player option and gives the Atlanta experiment two years.

GM Travis Schlenk attempted to surround Young with longer defenders by trading for Clint Capela and drafting Reddish and Hunter, but the Hawks’ roster could still use an experienced voice. Several players publicly lauded Vince Carter’s presence last season, but with the 22-year vet retiring, they need someone to fill those shoes — enter Jrue Holiday.

For the Pelicans, this deal centers around the sixth pick. We’ve been hearing for several weeks that New Orleans wants to move up within the 2020 Draft. As for who they’re eyeing is a mystery (Onyeka Okongwu, Tyrese Haliburton, Killian Hayes or maybe Patrick Williams???), but Atlanta seems to present the best option of climbing higher in the lottery.

Don’t overlook the fact that a trade with the Hawks could morph into a three-team deal or even larger. (We’ll cover this in great depth when we discuss the Brooklyn Net-Jrue Holiday trade scenarios in an upcoming podcast.)

Phoenix Suns

You know all those Devin Booker trade rumors? Let’s put them to bed, guys. He has four years remaining on his contract, and after the success of the Suns in the bubble, he’s definitely not going anywhere anytime soon.

Moreover, GM James Jones has gone on record saying that he isn’t interested in any more future picks. He wants to the turn the Suns into a winner and that includes adding another good vet.

Phoenix is in an interesting spot. They could remain an over the cap team by resigning several of their own free agents or they could open up space (close to 20 million) to grab one of the more prominent FAs on the market like Danilo Gallinari and then also pursue a trade to improve their roster.

While a few of us have pined for Mikal Bridges for awhile — and no one longer than Kevin, he’s likely close to being an untouchable trade piece. One has to believe that Cam Johnson is another player that the Suns would prefer to keep, so where does that leave Kelly Oubre Jr.?

If Phoenix and the OKC Thunder cannot find a workable deal involving Chris Paul, perhaps something along the lines of Oubre + 10 for Holiday + 13 could be worked out.

This would likely guarantee that the Pels would have the opportunity of landing a tall wing (Devin Vassell, Patrick Williams, Isaac Okoro or Aaron Nesmith) or maybe even score Killian Hayes — someone in this draft is going to have to fall a little bit.

As for Oubre, he’s not the worst option to kick the tires on even though he’s going to demand a new contract next summer. He plays with fantastic passion — something sorely needed on this roster. And if you’re a fan of Caris LeVert, how about a player who is younger, more efficient, bigger defensively and likely a better jump shoot? Yeah, Oubre. The only thing Caris does significantly better than him is that he’s a legitimate playmaker.

*****

Catch all the details of these proposals plus variations of them and other trade deals we’ve devised concerning the Hawks and Suns on our latest podcast featuring Kevin Barrios, David Fisher, David Grubb and myself!

For more Pelicans talk, subscribe to The Bird Calls podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @OlehKosel.

Previous Jrue Holiday Trade Podcasts: