Pelicans don’t want to send Jrue Holiday to a Western Conference rival

If Jrue Holiday gets moved, he’ll be heading to the Eastern Conference.

The New Orleans Pelicans have a solid path to contention for the next decade, as they believe that Zion Williamson and Stan Van Gundy will have enough chemistry to make New Orleans a fixture in the postseason. Still, their immediate future is looking somewhat glum, and trading star guard Jrue Holiday could help them acquire more assets for the rebuild. While there are several teams in the West who could use Holiday, New Orleans wants to look anywhere and everywhere in the East in order to avoid flipping him to another team in their conference.

Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News is reporting that the Dallas Mavericks, who want to acquire another star on the perimeter to pair with Luka Doncic, are likely not going to land Holiday, as the Pelicans do not want to trade him to another Western Conference team.

Holiday could be an ideal second or third star on a contending team

Holiday has played in relative anonymity beside Anthony Davis in New Orleans for most of the last seven years, but the former Philadelphia 76ers All-Star has become one of the best guards in the game. Not only has he averaged 19.7 points and 6.8 assists per game since moving to shooting guard, but he has become an elite perimeter defender.

Eastern Conference teams like the rebuilding Atlanta Hawks and contending Boston Celtics have been trying to get a piece of Holiday.

While putting this self-imposed restriction on Holiday’s market seems a bit foolish for New Orleans, as they’re cutting off all the West contenders who would overpay for him, the Pelicans are moving forward with Williamson as the centerpiece of everything, and they don’t want their best-laid plans to be led astray by Holiday taking them down.