The Bucks And Pelicans Reportedly Agreed On A Trade To Send Jrue Holiday To Milwaukee

Since early November, rumblings have existed that the New Orleans Pelicans were examining the trade market for standout guard Jrue Holiday. Though the Atlanta Hawks were reported as a potential suitor, a lot of the attention for Holiday centered on ready-made title contenders and, on Monday evening, word broke from Shams Charania of The Athletic that the Milwaukee Bucks were able to land Holiday to bolster their already impressive roster.

Charania also notes that the Pelicans will acquire Eric Bledsoe, George Hill and draft compensation from Milwaukee to complete the deal. It will be interesting to note what the draft compensation looks like, with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski later noting it will be three first-round draft picks of some kind and Charania indicating it will also include two pick swaps.

In addition, both Bledsoe and Hill are valuable players that the Pelicans can integrate, all while potentially adding future value through the draft.

Holiday’s contract situation was at least part of the impetus to move him on the side of New Orleans, as the 30-year-old guard is owed $26.2 million for 2020-21 before deciding on a player option for the 2021-22 season. With all signs pointing to Holiday opting out of that final year, the Pelicans would turn him into Bledsoe, who is a strong player that is also under team control for two additional seasons.

For Milwaukee, this is an “all-in” move and the connection to the state of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s contract status cannot be ignored. The two-time NBA MVP can decide on a super-max contract in the coming days, and the commitment by Milwaukee (in the form of this draft compensation) is significant, while upgrading with the addition of Holiday in the short term. Among the picks going to New Orleans is this year’s pick at No. 24 overall.

This kind of trade certainly could swing the balance of power in the Eastern Conference, as Holiday is a tremendous player to pair with Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez. At the same time, the Pelicans extract significant value for Holiday on what was effectively an expiring contract, and New Orleans is now set up in a positive way for the future.