The Golden State Warriors are going to be back with a bang next season, but adding Jrue Holiday to their roster may not be the home run move they need.
With the NBA season looking like it is going to come back sooner than expected, every organization is about to enter a rushed process to try and improve their roster during a particularly weak free-agent class.
This puts even more of an emphasis on trades. But with cap space at a premium and some bigger names potentially on the move in the offseason of 2021, everybody is keeping their cards close to their chest. Included in this list are the Golden State Warriors, who are going to be much improved next season.
Any franchise that boasts Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green should be aiming for a championship every season, especially as all three are still in some version of their primes. But we’ve seen from the NBA’s time in the bubble that the league has begun to swing in another direction.
If the Warriors were to do nothing this offseason, they still figure to be a contender in the Western Conference. But it also just so happens that they have the second overall pick in the upcoming draft, as well as a couple of intriguing young players already in place. They look ripe for a trade, and there are players out there who appear to fit the bill who could help.
One such individual is point guard Jrue Holiday of the New Orleans Pelicans. As arguably the best defensive lead guard in the league, Holiday has the kind of game that could clearly help a contender. While there are certainly pros to him ending up in San Francisco, there are three clear reasons why the Warriors shouldn’t explore this move.
3. What it would cost
Obviously, if Holiday landed on the Warriors he would help right away. His presence would hide Curry even more on the defensive end, even though both Thompson and Green have done a brilliant job of ensuring this was already the case through multiple title runs. Curry isn’t even as bad a defensive player as you might think, but it would allow him to put more energy into scoring.
But to pry him Holiday from the Pelicans, it would cost some combination of the second overall pick, or Andrew Wiggins, or possibly both. Again, Holiday would help right away, and whoever the Warriors draft would take time to find their feet in one of the most settled and dominant rosters the league has ever seen.
Even if the second pick doesn’t figure into the long-term plans of the Warriors, dealing Wiggins is a tricky one. Not because he doesn’t look destined to play elsewhere at some point soon, he does, but because there may be other players they could get back for Wiggins who would make more sense on this roster.
Hypothetically speaking they could ask the Orlando Magic about both Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier (to make the numbers work), and see what they think. The Magic need to make some moves soon, and although Wiggins has done little to look like a franchise savior so far in his career, the argument could be made that his playing situations haven’t helped.
The same could also be true if he were traded to the Pelicans. Although with Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson already in place, it is hard to see how that would work. If the Pelicans didn’t want Wiggins, some other young players would have to go their way alongside the second pick.
Depth was ruthlessly exposed for the Warriors last season. Although guys like Eric Paschall, Jordan Poole and even Kevon Looney aren’t exactly household names, these are the players who got reps last season and who will need to solidify a second unit. Getting rid of a lot of that depth and picks for another lead guard in Holiday is problematic.