The pre-deadline trade rumors are starting to heat up, and some NBA executives still believe the Miami Heat may try to make a move.
Instead of pursuing Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul, however, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported that front office executives think Miami could go after a player like New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday.
“At this point, Miami’s interest in Paul is extinct, according to league sources,” O’Connor wrote. “Miami is more likely to chase someone like Jrue Holiday, multiple front office executives believe. Holiday was recently made available by the Pelicans, according to The New York Times’ Marc Stein. However, two front office sources told me that before New Orleans makes any significant roster moves, it’d likely make a change at head coach. Regardless, Holiday’s off-guard abilities and defensive acumen would make him a better fit on the Heat than a primary playmaker like Paul.”
Holiday would be a fantastic addition for the Heat. At 29 years old, he’s got far more career ahead of him compared to Paul, who is 34. Holiday is also enjoying a better season than Paul despite the Pelicans’ woeful 6-22 record.
He’s currently averaging 19.5 points, 6.8 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game this season. Paul is averaging 16.2 points, 6.3 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game.
Beyond that, Holiday only has one more guaranteed season left on his current deal. He has a player option for the 2021-22 season. While the Heat would certainly have to take that into consideration in terms of how it could impact their ability to be major players in the 2021 offseason, it seems quite likely that Holiday could opt out.
He’s set to make just over $26 million that year and a player of his caliber could very likely net a larger, multi-year contract on the open market.
As is the case with all rumors, this one must come with a grain of salt. The Heat are currently 19-8 on the season and have fared perfectly well without a second established star.
Still, as the season progresses and the Heat look more and more like legitimate contenders, the chance to seriously compete for a title this season by adding another star alongside Jimmy Butler may be too enticing for Pat Riley to pass up on.