Potential Trade 3: New Orleans Pelicans
There are plenty of rumors flying around that the New Orleans Pelicans could be shopping Jrue Holiday this offseason, with The Athletic’s Shams Charania reporting that the front office is openly discussing trades.
While a contending team would make the most sense for Holiday and would ultimately be more likely to land him, the Magic could offer Vucevic to the Pelicans if they are interested in capitalizing on Holiday’s availability.
Holiday is arguably the best two-way shooting guard in the NBA. He is an excellent perimeter defender with the ability to guard a number of positions thanks to fantastic quickness and defensive instincts. Not only that, but he also averaged 19.1 points and 6.7 assists per game last season making him one of the league’s best all-round players.
The Pelicans have a real chance to become a contender under new coach Stan Van Gundy with the power of Zion Williamson, passing of Lonzo Ball and scoring of Brandon Ingram, if they can get get the latter to commit to the team long-term.
If the team is set on trading Holiday then Vucevic is someone that could help the Pelicans not just push into the playoffs but make a run. He dispelled doubts over his postseason capabilities this season with his superb performances against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Van Gundy could use his floor spacing to open up more avenues for Williamson and he could also provide an effective third scoring option along with Ingram. Vucevic would provide some quality at a position the team is not particularly strong in and his passing ability could help bring the team’s other talented players into play more.
This hypothetical trade is dependent on the Pelicans feeling like they are ready to start competing. Holiday will be a man in demand and will likely have plenty more appealing offers than a low playoff team in Orlando but the offer of a proven talent like Vucevic is an intriguing one.
The Magic giving up Vucevic would be to give up the heart of the team, so the front office should not settle. By picking up the Pelicans’ 13th pick, the team would at least have two middle of the draft selections this year for prospects who can hopefully help the team out for the foreseeable future.
It still might cost the Magic a bit more.