Why the Pacers need to trade for Jrue Holiday post-Damian Lillard trade

Indiana Pacers, Jrue Holiday, NBA Trade Rumors, Damian Lillard, Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers, Jrue Holiday, NBA Trade Rumors, Damian Lillard, Milwaukee Bucks /

The Damian Lillard trade has come and gone, and with it, a potential trade target for the Indiana Pacers has become more of a possibility – Jrue Holiday.

Jrue Holiday has been a dream Pacers target in the eyes of fans since at least 2020, and with the All-Star being traded to the Portland Trail Blazers, now would be a better time than ever to try and acquire the him before he gets dealt elsewhere.

I don’t think Holiday is long for Portland, as the Blazers are in full rebuild mode with Lillard finally being traded and Scoot Henderson being drafted third overall in the 2023 NBA Draft. With these moves in mind, Joe Cronin and Chauncey Billups probably don’t want a 33-year-old NBA veteran who can still contribute to winning on the roster.

Why the Pacers need to trade for Jrue Holiday post-Damian Lillard trade

It seems likely that they will look to ship him out for more picks, as they only received one first-round pick and two pick swaps in the Lillard trade. In addition, the Blazers’ backcourt for the future is already set, with Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe locking down the one and two spots for the future. Because of this, there will be plenty of teams, some contenders, offering players and plenty of picks to try and snag Holiday away from the Blazers.

Holiday is an interesting case. Despite being 33 years old, Holiday was very impressive last season, averaging 19.3 points per game on 48/34/86 splits and bringing his usual impressive defensive production that Pacers fans have been salivating over for years now.

In my opinion, now is the perfect time to capitalize on this opportunity and make a play for Jrue, and Indy has the assets for it. If I’m Kevin Pritchard, I’m calling up Cronin and the Trail Blazers front office and offering Hield, the Denver Nuggets 2024 first-round pick, and a second-round pick or two.

Holiday on the Pacers would create a backcourt match made in heaven when you consider how well he fits with Tyrese Haliburton.

Haliburton is a pass-first point guard who can also score but has issues on the defensive side, which we saw in abundance during Team USA’s 2023 FIBA World Cup run. What is the best way to minimize his defensive shortcomings? Give him a backcourt mate like Jrue Holiday.

The veteran is known as one of the best backcourt defenders in the league. He can also provide additional scoring and playmaking (7.4 assists per game) on the offensive end without needing the ball in his hands often.

Of course, the idea of Holiday on the Pacers isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, as the Pacers may not want to trade for a 33-year-old at this stage of their team building, and the Blazers may not want a 30-year-old Hield, who is probably better suited for a contender.

However, the positives of the trade are sufficient enough that I think the Pacers front office should definitely make an attempt to get something done.

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Jrue Holiday is a phenomenal player, even at his advanced age, and an opportunity like this may not come up for the Pacers again. They need to strike while the iron is hot and at least make an offer.