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Windhorst on what might a Jrue Holiday deal look like ... if there was Jrue Holiday deal

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New Orleans Pelicans v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

You can’t really call it a rumor. It’s more like speculation ... with supporting evidence still vague. Still, the IDEA of Jrue Holiday becoming the proverbial “third star” keeps getting attention.

So, on the ESPN’s Hoop Collective podcast that aired Thursday, there was a healthy discussion of what a Holiday-to-Brooklyn deal might look like among Brian Windhorst, Bobby Marks and Tim MacMahon.

None of the trio said they knew anything about whether such a deal is even contemplated by the two teams ... and WIndhorst noted that the fate of the 30-year-old point guard in New Orleans is dependent on who the Pelicans choose as head coach.

“Brooklyn is a very interesting partner there,” said Windhorst who note, however. “If [the Pelicans] hire Ty Lue which I don’t think is going to happen (Spoler alert: it didn't), Ty is in the mix in Houston and LA and I don't think ... and I think the Clippers will hire him if I had to bet today. If they hire Ty Lue, they go in one direction. If they hire Stan Van Gundy, they go in a certain direction. If they hire Jamahl Mosely, maybe they go in a different direction and look to trade J.J. Redick and Jrue Holiday.”

“I don't know,” Windhorst added, admitting a lack of knowledge on the Pelicans’ intentions then adding, “If Redick and Holiday are on the market —J.J,’s at $13.5 million, right Bobby?— I think both of those guys could fetch interesting packages.”

When MacMahon pressed on what a Nets package would look like, “because that would give them a third star for sure”, Windhorst replied simply, “Uh, Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen?”

Bobby Marks agreed, saying, “that’s probably what you're looking at. If I was in New Orleans, I would have intrigue with that kind of package.” MacMahon agreed, noting the Pelicans rotation could include, “You’d be talking about LeVert, [Brandon] Ingram with Allen, Zion {Williamson[ fits in that. That’d be interesting.”

Perhaps anticipating criticism that Allen might be superfluous with all the Pelicans’ bigs, Windhorst noted, “They have a number of big there that would get in the way of Allen, but I think Allen would be better.”

Holiday, a two-time All-Defense player and one-time All-Star, is owed $26.2 million salary next season, then has a $27.1 player option in 2021-22. In the season just concluded, he averaged 15.9 points and 6.4 assists while shooting 45/35/78. He was named NBA Teammate of the Year for this season.

In other parts of the podcast, Bobby Marks predicted that there would be very few signings where free agents would get more than MLE, which which is likely to $9.7 million. Overall, he thought free agent contracts would yield only about a third of what teams spent in 2019.

He also suggested that players like Joe Harris, with their long service and their teams’ ability to go above the cap, will be retained.