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Jrue Holiday is in play ... Are Nets one of the 10 teams making calls?

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Washington Wizards v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

It started with a tweet Wednesday morning from Shams Charania...

And by day’s end, David Griffin, the Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations, had responded to Shams tweet, praising Holiday but at the same time admitting that yes, indeed he’s in play. Oleh Kosel of The Bird Writes, our SB Nation sister site, posted a transcript of Griffin’s comments. His intention was clearly stated: use Holiday as a piece that would make Pelicans “highly competitive today and build toward a competitive future” while putting Holiday “in the best position to succeed.”

Quite simply, as Kosel wrote Wednesday, Holiday’s age — 30 —and salary —$26.2 million next season with a $27.1 million player option in 2021-22 — don’t fit with the Pelicans timeline. Griffin, his GM, Trajan Langdon, and new head coach, Stan Van Gundy are building around Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, none of whom are older than 23.

Of particular interest to Nets fans, Griffin noted that “We’ve had similar conversations at last year’s trade deadline.” In a discussion of trade scenarios that aired October 19 on The Hoop Collective podcast, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that the Nets and Pelicans had discussions about the New Orleans point guard at the February deadline. He admitted his recollection was a big foggy.

“That’s certainly something that’s been out there,” Windhorst told colleagues Kevin Pelton and Tim Bontemps. “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.”

A week before that, Windhorst speculated that any deal for Holiday would begin with Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen going to New Orleans. In the October 19 podcast, Windhorst did not provide any details of how such a deal would be structured but again suggested that LeVert and Allen would be likely be required.

Kevin Durant spoke about Holiday on a podcast a few months back... and left no doubt about his feelings...

Indeed, Vincent Goodwill noted Wednesday that as many as 10 NBA teams had inquired about Holiday’s status, several of them no doubt like the Nets contenders. And The Athletic’s Pelican beat writer, Will Guillory, reported, also Wednesday, that two other top NBA clubs, the the Heat and Nuggets, had discussions with the Pelicans at the deadline.

Guillory listed the Nets and the two Los Angeles teams as possibilities. Holiday is an L.A. native. Of the Nets, Guillory said, “The Brooklyn Nets are another team desperate to find the right pieces to complement their All-Star tandem of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.”

Holiday would certainly fill the bill. Not only does he qualify as a “third star,” he was named to the All-Defensive Team in 2018 and 2019 and the NBA’s “Teammate of the Year” in 2020. Last season, he averaged 19.1 points, 6.7 assists and had a 45/35/71 shooting line.