27-year-old point guard, Jrue Holiday, is on the verge of a $100+ million contract offer. Whether that will be from his current team, the New Orleans Pelicans, or a different suitor is still unknown.

Holiday came to New Orleans in a 2013 draft night trade with the Philadelphia 76ers at a time when general manager Dell Demps was looking to pair Anthony Davis with “young veterans.” The vision has changed greatly as only Holiday, Davis, and Alexis Ajinca remain from that team. The Pelicans showed what it wants to become by pulling off a great trade deadline deal by acquiring DeMarcus Cousins on Feb 19, 2017. Boogie gave immediate hope to fans inside the Smoothie King Center. Future prosperity will depend on Jrue Holiday’s interests this off season.

What Holiday Brings to New Orleans

The Pelicans know what it will get if Holiday is resigned. A natural scorer with the ability to guard multiple positions on defense. Along with scoring, New Orleans also gets a high turnover-to-assist ratio and questionable crunch time play. With the recent hiring of assistant coach Chris Finch, a new look offense could prove beneficial to Holiday. Finch comes from the Denver Nuggets system. He was influential in designing an offense around skilled big man Nikola Jokic. Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry has confirmed Finch was brought in to create a successful point center role for Cousins. Boogie’s passing ability matched with some outside shooters could be the key to unlocking Holiday’s potential for a 20+ points per game average.

The downside to re-signing Holiday is the money. Anything over a four-year deal, worth $95 million seems like an overpay. Holiday’s agent, Jason Glushon, is known for pursuing max contract deals. Glushon lured the Boston Celtics to give his client, Al Horford, a max deal after the Atlanta Hawks came up $5 million short in their initial offer sheet. A similar outcome may play out in New Orleans. Holiday has drawn interest from Dallas, Minnesota, and Denver over the last month. If Holiday does bolt, you can guarantee he will have a breakout year. Just as former Pelicans Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson once they left the bayou.

The Draft and Jrue

It was interesting to see the Pelicans trade up in last Thursday’s draft to acquire point guard Frank Jackson from Duke University. Jackson is a leader with elite athleticism who will join fellow Blue Devil, Quinn Cook, in competing for time in the back court. This move gives some insurance for a post-Holiday roster but is not the final answer.

Above all, the main goal is to keep AD happy in NOLA who can renegotiate his contract in 2019. Another missed playoffs could push Boogie away. With Boogie gone, Davis could consider testing free agency. Without a superstar in New Orleans, the franchise could be doomed to relocate within the next decade. Of course, this hypothetical spiral of failure is already giving me anxiety.


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