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Examining the potential of the Pelicans trading Jrue Holiday to the Nuggets or Bulls

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Jrue Holiday Trade Packages, Part III: Neither team is particularly inviting in one-on-one deals, but possibilities multiply exponentially if a third team gets added to the mix

NBA: Denver Nuggets at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-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 Denver Nuggets and Chicago Bulls.

Denver Nuggets

Although Denver has been rumored to have interest in Jrue Holiday since the last trade deadline, it’s nearly impossible to find a one-on-one deal that sparkles for New Orleans — especially if Michael Porter Jr. isn’t on the table.

Kevin’s proposal: Will Barton + Bol Bol + S&T Jerami Grant + #22 for Jrue Holiday + Nicolo Melli

To be honest, I envision both teams disliking some deal along these lines. The Nuggets like much of their depth. For the Pelicans, Barton’s propensity for injury the last few years is completely uninviting and Bol Bol feels closer to a flash in the pan with his display in bubble scrimmage games than a future starter in the league. While Grant is an enviable wing defender, the thought of he, Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson handling responsibilities on the glass is a scary proposition.

And where’s Gary Harris you may wonder? Nope, no one wants him. He’s a vastly overpaid broken shooting guard. If you’re attaching him in any Holiday trade, then there needs to be a damn good asset coming New Orleans way in some package.

Don’t say Kevin or I didn’t warn you. While Monte Morris would be a fun addition, the rest of Denver’s roster — outside of MPJ — fails to compare even adequately with potential deals from other teams.

Chicago Bulls

Chicago feels like a better trade partner for New Orleans than Denver, possessing Wendell Carter, Lauri Markkanen and the #4 pick in this year’s draft; however, it’s difficult to understand much, if any, similar desire coming out of the Bulls’ camp.

David’s proposal: Otto Porter + Lauri Markkanen + #4 pick for Jrue Holiday + #13 pick

The Bulls have recently been rumored to prefer Markkanen over Carter, but even if Carter is included instead, why would Chicago downgrade their draft pick to create an unnecessary log jam in the backcourt? Fans were clamoring for Coby White to start last season and Zach LaVine is a wonderful scoring talent at shooting guard that Billy Donovan probably prefers to keep front and center.

As David goes on to say on this podcast, a three-team deal is a much more likely scenario. Could Denver become that third team, with Holiday going to the Nuggets, Porter Jr. getting sent to the Bulls and the Pelicans ending up with the 4th overall pick? Or, maybe the Warriors, Bulls and Pelicans can agree to a deal that essentially sends Jrue to Golden State, the #2 pick and Andrew Wiggins to Chicago and the #4 pick to New Orleans.


Catch all the details of these proposals plus variations of them and other trade deals we’ve devised concerning the Nuggets and Bulls on our latest podcast featuring Kevin Barrios, David Fisher, David Grubb, Eliot Clough 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: