The Brooklyn Nets will be one of the most intriguing squads in the NBA next year. Between adding Kevin Durant and a healthy Kyrie Irving to their lineup, and the hiring of new head coach Steve Nash, the team will be unrecognizable from this past season.
According to ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst, the Nets have been and continue to be very interested in adding current New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday to their roster.
“That’s certainly something that’s been out there,” Windhorst said on The Hoop Collective podcast this week. “I think it’s been reported but if it hasn’t, I found out somewhere – I don’t think it was from an executive —maybe it was— that there was some discussion between the Nets and Pelicans in February.”
One week earlier, Windhorst described the Nets as a “very interesting partner” for the Pelicans in a prospective trade centering around Holiday. The New York Post also confirmed that Holiday had piqued Brooklyn’s interest. “The Nets’ biggest concern, now that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are healthy, will be getting stops, not buckets. That’s why they have interest in Jrue Holiday,” the Post wrote this week.
What really makes the prospect of Holiday landing with Brooklyn intriguing is Durant’s immense respect for him.
Championship coaches do championship things. https://t.co/Rt7179e8TK
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 22, 2020
“You put Jrue in any system, any coach is going to ask him to guard the best player,” the Nets star said on JJ Redick’s podcast recently. “We played them in 2018, second round and he guarded me the whole series. He was picking me up full court, he was guarding me in the post. Actually, it was tough to dribble on Jrue Holiday. He slides his feet so well, he’s got good hands, he’s strong, he’s got good instincts.
“I gained a lot of respect for him in that series because he went from guarding me to Klay (Thompson) to Steph (Curry) to guarding Draymond (Green), neutralizing picks and rolls. He’s special. He’s special on that side of the ball.”
Holiday, 30, is in the midst of a 5-year, $131.8 million contract with New Orleans. He is set to make $25.4 million in 2020-21 and $26.3 million the following year. Next season he has a player option, and then he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2022. Windhorst believes there is a very good chance Holiday ultimately opts out. “You should be worried about him opting out,” he noted on the podcast.
Wow. One NBA agent went off. https://t.co/NHA0qwg4DF
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 21, 2020
This past season Holiday averaged 19.1 points and 6.7 assists per outing while shooting 45 percent from the field and 35 percent from beyond the arc. If the Nets are truly committed to surrounding Durant and Irving with championship talent, then it would seem like adding Holiday by whatever means necessary is a good way of showing that.
The Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks are all also expected to vie for Holiday’s services.
Who will he ultimately land with? Time will tell.