10 Players the New Orleans Pelicans gave up on way too soon

New Orleans Pelicans, Chris Paul (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
New Orleans Pelicans, Chris Paul (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Jrue Holiday
New Orleans Pelicans, Jrue Holiday. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

2. Jrue Holiday

Jrue Holiday was already an All-Star before coming to New Orleans in 2013. The 6’3 guard worked his way into the Philadelphia 76ers’ starting lineup as a rookie and improved every year from there. The Pelicans gave up two first-round picks to land him, including the sixth overall pick in that year’s draft, which Philadelphia used to select Nerlens Noel.

Holiday was fantastic during his seven seasons in New Orleans. He became a 20-point per-game scorer as he transformed into one of the league’s best perimeter defenders, but the Pelicans made just two playoff appearances. After Anthony Davis requested a trade and was shipped to Los Angeles, New Orleans kept Holiday for one more season before trading him to the Milwaukee Bucks in a massive deal that netted the Pelicans four first-round picks.

Jrue Holiday helped the Bucks win the championship in his first season in Milwaukee, and he just became a two-time All-Star in 2023. The 32-year-old is one of the best two-way guards in the league, and Milwaukee has been a title contender since the moment he arrived.

Milwaukee’s offer was just too good to pass up, but the Pelicans gave up on Jrue Holiday too soon. They would not have had to trade for C.J. McCollum if they just kept Jrue Holiday. The former Pelican is the superior defender and playmaker that could still be making a massive impact in New Orleans.