No. 1 outside-the-box Jrue Holiday trade suitor: Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz were frequently mentioned as a team to watch in the Tyler Herro sweepstakes, but Lillard went to Milwaukee. Instead, Holiday is the guard piquing the interest of trade candidates around the league. Utah shouldn't hang up the phone just yet.
On the surface, the Jazz are a strange fit. The timeline for Lauri Markkanen, Walker Kessler, and No. 9 pick Taylor Hendricks doesn't exactly align with 33-year-old Holiday. The Jazz were a lottery team last season after a blatant deadline tank job from Danny Ainge and the front office. There's no reason to believe the Jazz are itching to win a ton of games in 2024.
This is Danny Ainge we are talking about, however, and it's fair to say the Jazz will make the leap to contention when a window opens. Holiday has such a window. He might not carry Utah to the promised land, but he's a borderline top-30 NBA player who would address Utah's shaky perimeter defense while solving the no-point guard issue.
Talen Horton-Tucker, Collin Sexton, Jordan Clarkson, Keyonte George — the Jazz are not short on guards. The Jazz are short on point guards. Even with the improvement Clarkson made last season, the Jazz would benefit from Holiday's proclivity for playmaking. He's comfortable poking around the teeth of the defense and creating for others. That, combined with his defense, would take the Jazz to another level.
Utah was on track for a postseason berth before the trade deadline. Lauri Markkanen looks the part of a franchise cornerstone and Kessler is already on the shortlist of best rim protectors in the NBA. Add Holiday to the mix — along with John Collins in prove-it mode and a couple very talented prospects in Hendricks and George — and suddenly the Jazz are knocking forcefully on the postseason door.