‘The Process’ started when the Sixers traded Jrue Holiday to New Orleans. After seven years, is a reunion in order?
The Sixers’ abject failure in 2019-20 should breed wholesale roster changes in 2020-21. This offseason is of critical importance to Philadelphia’s future, as it could not only determine the Sixers’ championship window, but also the happiness of Joel Embiid.
If Philadelphia cannot turn the ship around, things will fall apart quickly. The roster as presently constructed cannot win a championship, no matter who is brought in to coach. Unless Elton Brand can undo his failures of yesteryear, the Sixers will flame out, and the franchise’s outlook will only grow bleaker.
On the most recent episode of The Sixer Sense Podcast, we discussed the possibility of a Chris Paul trade. If OKC decides to move on, Philadelphia has the cap filler to make a trade work. It then becomes a matter of sweetening the pot enough for OKC to care.
If CP3 is not the answer, the Sixers will need to look elsewhere. Elsewhere could include a familiar face.
According to Kevin McCormick of 97.3 ESPN, there is “interest” from the Pelicans in a potential Jrue Holiday trade. While this barely rises to the level of “rumor,” McCormick also states that Philadelphia and New Orleans briefly discussed the possibility at the 2019 trade deadline.
If the Pelicans and Sixers do indeed have interest in a Holiday reunion, then Philadelphia should jump at the opportunity. Any trade that involves Al Horford or Tobias Harris will get expensive — no team accept those contracts at face value. The Sixers will need to trade assets and draft picks. With that said, Holiday is a spectacular player, and one who could greatly improve Philadelphia’s odds of contention.
Holiday is one of the best defensive guards in basketball. He would either provide an upgrade over Josh Richardson, or become half of the best defensive backcourt in basketball. The allure of a hypothetical Holiday–Richardson–Harris–Simmons–Embiid lineup is undeniable.
The Sixers have needed a real point guard for ages. Holiday is one of the most underrated playmakers in basketball, averaging 6.7 assists per game last season despite the presence of other talented creators, such as Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram.
He’s also decisive, an attribute the Sixers have too often overlooked when constructing this roster. Take for example Tobias Harris, who despite a career of success from 3-point range, will often tank possessions with his trepidation.
Holiday is a snappy decision-maker. The ball doesn’t stick. There’s no aimlessness to Holiday’s game. He is far from elite behind the arc, but a 35.3 percent success rate on 5.7 attempts per game is nothing to snuff at. His volume and confidence are more important than anything else.
If Philadelphia has the chance to convert either Al Horford or Tobias Harris into one of the top two-way guards in basketball — who, at 30, is still in his prime — it becomes a no-brainer. Elton Brand will need to carefully navigate the Sixers’ financially-restricted future, and draft picks are sure to hold premium value as a result. But Holiday is All-Star caliber, and he would immediately resurrect the Sixers’ dying championship aspirations.