The Pelicans made waves when rumors emerged that suggested that guard Jrue Holiday is on the market. According to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania, several contending teams have expressed interest in the defense-first floor general.
With that rumor in mind, The Athletic asked a beat writer from each team to weigh in on the chances that their respective teams had in the race for Holiday. In regards to the Trail Blazers, Jason Quick listed Portland as a “no chance” destination for the Pelicans star.
Besides the Blazers being in love with their backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, it’s difficult to understand how New Orleans could benefit from a deal with Portland. If it was to happen, McCollum ($29.3 million in 2020-21) would almost certainly have to be involved to make salaries match and to create a space for Holiday to play. The problem? McCollum is only a year younger than Holiday, is nowhere near the defender that Holiday is, and McCollum is owed $30.8 million, $33.3 million and $35.8 million in coming years. Hard to see how that makes New Orleans better or gives them any cap flexibility.
Holiday, who spearheaded the swarming defense that extinguished the Blazers’ 2018 postseason run in just four games, averaged 19.1 points and 6.7 assist per game last season. The 30-year-old guard is under contract through the 2021-22 season (player option) and is set to make $26.1 million in the upcoming 2020-21 campaign.
You can read the team-by-team analysis for the Holiday sweepstakes at The Athletic (subscription required).