New Orleans Pelicans say they don’t want to trade Jrue Holiday, but have options if they do

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New Orleans Pelicans Jrue Holiday

New Orleans Pelicans Jrue Holiday. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

New Orleans Pelicans executive David Griffin says he’s not trying to trade Jrue Holiday. But there are options if he decides he wants to make a move.

With more than half of the players in the NBA now eligible to be traded with the passing of the Dec. 15 moratorium on moving players who signed new contracts over the offseason, the speculation game has amped up, with ESPN’s Zach Lowe in particular suggesting New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday could be had.

Lowe and colleague Adrian Wojnarowski speculated on the NBA trade market during a segment on Monday. Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations (it was so much easier when they were just general managers) David Griffin said during an in-game interview during the team’s overtime loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday that he and Holiday had talked about the rumors.

Per Forbes’ Christopher Dodson, Griffin hasn’t changed his plan for New Orleans this season, even as things have gone sideways due to injuries and other factors.

“The irony of this is pretty funny. I was with Jrue (Monday). We had a conversation and I explained exactly what I just said to you all about Dec. 15. I said, ‘I can write it down in blood that there will be a story that we should trade you or are trying to trade you.’ It just so happened that it came the very next day, so we actually laughed about it.”

The one thing Griffin didn’t say is that he was completely opposed to moving the veteran combo guard. There have been many scenarios thrown out into the ether, with some making more sense than others.

In particular, the Denver Nuggets, Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks could be potential destinations for Holiday as those teams look to improve their backcourt situations for the stretch run.

Sam Quinn of CBS Sports also suggested the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves as possible teams that could target Holiday, but those feel much more far-fetched.

Minnesota has lost eight games in a row — including a 107-99 loss Wednesday night to New Orleans that dropped the Timberwolves to 3-10 at home this season — and are tied for 11th in the West.

Even so, Minnesota is just 1½ games behind the eighth-place Sacramento Kings, so if Gersson Rosas wanted to make a desperate run for a chance to be first-round fodder for the Los Angeles teams, he could do so.

The win at Minnesota was the first for the Pelicans since Nov. 21 and broke a franchise-record 13-game losing streak.

As for Golden State? At an NBA-worst 5-24 after losing at Portland Wednesday night, it appears this is a gap year for the Warriors.

Trades are going to be complicated given the salary cap situation of most franchises and with nearly half of the NBA hard-capped at the luxury tax apron, with each of the potential contenders for a Holiday deal bringing their own cap considerations to the table.

With that, here’s a look at what some of those issues — and potential assets to send back to New Orleans — could be.

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