Hawks Emerging As Suitor For Jrue Holiday?

11:22am: Chris Kirschner of The Athletic (Twitter link) provides a conflicting report on Holiday, citing multiple sources who say that Atlanta isn’t currently a possible trade destination for the Pelicans guard.

10:32am: The Hawks are emerging as a potential trade destination for Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, reports Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). Both Stein and Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link) suggest that a three-team structure is a possibility for a Holiday deal.

According to Stein, the expectation is that the No. 6 pick in next week’s draft would be involved if the Hawks are able to make a move for Holiday. A previous report indicated that New Orleans is among the teams expressing interest in that selection, along with Minnesota and Boston.

The Hawks are an intriguing suitor for an impact player like Holiday, who would be a good fit alongside up-and-coming star Trae Young. Atlanta badly wants to make the postseason in 2021 and is focusing on adding veteran talent rather than another young prospect, making that No. 6 pick expendable.

Additionally, no team projects to have more cap room available this fall, which means the Hawks could theoretically absorb a salary like Holiday’s ($26.2MM) without sending out any money in return. That could be appealing if New Orleans or another potential trade partner wants to cut costs.

While the Hawks are emerging as a viable suitor for Holiday, they’ll face plenty of competition for the veteran guard, who is one of the few big names expected to be available via trade this offseason. A previous report indicated that the Pelicans are “openly discussing” Holiday, while another report said about 10 clubs had already inquired on him. The Nuggets and Nets are considered likely to be among his most aggressive suitors.

Holiday, 30, is coming off a 2019/20 season in which he averaged 19.1 PPG, 6.7 APG, 4.8 RPG, and 1.6 SPG with a shooting line of .455/.353/.709 in 61 games (34.7 MPG) for the Pelicans. Although he didn’t earn a spot on one of this season’s All-Defensive teams, he has done so twice in the past and is widely considered one of the NBA’s best perimeter defenders. He holds a $27.1MM player option for 2021/22, giving him an opportunity to reach free agency next year.

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