Philadelphia 76ers: Jrue Holiday dropped the ball in 2017

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

In 2017, Jrue Holiday had two teams vying for his services; the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Orleans Pelicans. In hindsight, his choice was a mistake.

At this point, you kind of have to feel sorry for Jrue Holiday.

An original Philadelphia 76ers draftee out of UCLA; Holiday put in work in a red, white, and blue uniform for the better part of four seasons. He even earned his first, and to this point only All-Star berth as a member of the Sixers, earning a signature Adidas Crazy 97 shoe in the process.

But then the ‘Process’ happened, and Holiday was on his way to the Big Easy, to team up with a 20-year-old sophomore power forward named Anthony Davis.

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That worked out pretty well.

Over the next four seasons, Holiday’s new squad was unquestionably better than his old squad, going from a 48-100 record between 2011-13 to a much improved 143-185 record from 2013-17, vs. a 75-253 record in the City of Brotherly Love.

Teamed up with a generational big man for the first time in his career, Holiday and Davis brought the best out of each other, and steadily got better together, improving their individual stat lines noticeably when on the court together.

So, in the summer of 2017, when Holiday became an unrestricted free agent, it made sense that the Pelicans would want to retain their best backcourt player. However, his old squad wasn’t going to make that an easy task.

With cap space to spear, Ben Simmons entering the first year of his rookie contract, and Joel Embiid having finally made his NBA debut, and oh what a debut it was. Then-gm Bryan Colangelo wanted to add a veteran leader with on and off-ball versatility to lineup next to his new 6-foot-10 point guard, and Holiday looked like a perfect fit.

Fans in Philly wanted Holiday back so much that many had hoped that the team would trade for him earlier in the season, a move that in theory would have saved the team from a bidding war over the summer.

Unfortunately, that did not happen, and Holiday opted to stick with the big man he knew, Davis, as opposed to taking a risk with a still losing Sixers and their oft-injured big man Embiid.

Today, that decision looks bad.

As anyone with a Twitter, television, or an ear to the basketball world already knows, Davis has officially requested a trade from New Orleans and will in all likelihood be playing elsewhere this time next year, maybe as soon as next month.

While some would argue that said team should be the Philadelphia 76ers, as they could flip some combination of Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, and Jimmy Butler to get a deal done (good call Zach Lowe), that is neither here nor there. No, this article is about Jrue Holiday, and how he could have been the perfect starting guard alongside Simmons, Butler, Embiid, and J.J. Redick in easily the best starting five in the Eastern Conference had he just opted to return home for a second stint in the City of Brotherly Love.

As things presently stand, Holiday’s 21.2 ppg, 8.1 apg, and 1.7 spg would rank second, second, and third on the team, and provide Philly with a legitimate fifth starter that they’ve been sorely missing since Robert Covington and Dario Saric left town.

Who knows, maybe that could still happen, as he will probably be traded at some point before the February 7th deadline as the Pelicans embraces the tank once and for all.

Though his eventual fate remains to be seen, as the market for a $25 million a year shooting guard in a point guard’s body isn’t all that expansive, it’s clear Holiday is not even a little bit happy with how the Davis situation has turned out, as per his own words here.

dark. Next. Philadelphia 76ers should attempt trade for Jrue Holiday, not Anthony Davis

Had he simply opted to return to Philadelphia and embrace the 76ers’ future he helped to create, Jrue Holiday would have been welcomed back a prodigal star, but now, he has to sit back and hope for an out from what could be three more seasons of very very bad, but lucrative basketball.