2. Jrue Holiday – 26th
Plenty of people are going to disagree with this one, and that is understandable. After all, the Boston Celtics rescuing Jrue Holiday from the Portland Trail Blazers may be the move that actually gets them a championship. Not only can you not argue with that, but it firmly puts Holiday and Beal in the same boat as third options trying to get their teams over the top.
Why Beal should rank higher than Holiday is because Beal is a player you can plug into more situations, and he can excel. If Holiday was on the Washington Wizards roster than Beal led last season, can you honestly say they would have been any better?
Similarly, if Beal was with the Milwaukee Bucks instead of Holiday, would they have even tried to trade for Damian Lillard at all? Going back one further, and Beal on the New Orleans Pelicans outfit that Holiday once ran is also a fascinating experiment in “what if?” because there is definitely a scenario where that group exceeds expectations.
There is no doubt Holiday is the better defender of the two – but on the other end Beal is the more complete offensive weapon. Holiday can be the missing piece that wins you a title, whereas you can add Beal earlier in the process on your way to the promised land. It is all love for Holiday, but Beal is a player more teams in all stages of their development would want if available.