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Pelicans’ Griffin talks Jrue Holiday trade, says he will do what is best to build winner

Kurt Helin and Corey Robinson discuss the potential star the Knicks should look to draft with the eighth pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Jrue Holiday is reportedly available via trade.

Well, not reportedly. The man with the hammer in New Orleans, David Griffin, said in a virtual Q&A with fans he would trade — or keep — Holiday if it helped him build a winner (hat tip CBS Sports).

“When you read something like [the Holiday trade rumors], you think something must’ve happened as though it was newsworthy that we were listening to trade discussions around a player. That’s our job. We’ve done that since I got here. We’ve had similar conversations at last year’s trade deadline. No one is actively trying to do anything different than we were before. We’re trying to build a team that can be highly competitive today and build toward a sustainable future.

“If that means that Jrue is part of that, that’s special for us because he loves being with us and we love the way he plays. If the best way to build toward the future and the best way to put him in the best position to succeed is for him to be traded, that’s what ends up happening. But those things come about because you’re trying to build toward a sustainable future and Jrue is trying to put himself in the best position to win.”

That’s exactly what a GM/president of basketball operations should say: We’re listening to offers but will only make a deal if it makes us a better team.

There will be interest from Holiday from contenders and near contenders — Nuggets, Heat, Clippers, Nets, Bucks, Mavericks — and others just trying to make the playoffs (he’d be a great fit in Phoenix, Atlanta, and maybe Minnesota). He can help those teams because of his versatility (he can play either guard spot, is a high IQ player, and is a very good defender.

The question becomes will any of those teams actually give up enough to get Holiday — New Orleans will exact a high price.

Last season Holiday averaged 19.1 points and 6.7 assists a game while shooting 35.3% from three. He is owed $26.2 million this season with a player option for $27 million next season (he may opt-out of that to get a longer contract with more guaranteed money and security).