New Orleans Pelicans’ Franchise Altering Decision on Jrue Holiday

Dec 13, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) is defended by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the second half of a game at the Smoothie King Center. The Warriors defeated the Pelicans 113-109. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 13, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) is defended by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the second half of a game at the Smoothie King Center. The Warriors defeated the Pelicans 113-109. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans coming off of another disappointing season have the biggest decision in their 12 year history to make soon. Here’s a further look into Jrue Holiday and whether he’s worth the commitment he will more than likely demand.

The offseason for the New Orleans Pelicans has been constant questions with Jrue Holiday.

Let’s make an analogy here. Have you ever dated someone for a long period? Long enough to where you know them inside and out? The person you’ve been dating does a number of things well for you. They have a bunch of solid qualities, and you’ve reached a point to where a long term commitment is being discussed.

This person is good for you but doesn’t necessarily satisfy your soul. Many of their traits fit for long term success. Still, it is just not what’s going to make you happy, or thrive long term. You have a handle on what type of person they are and what the future could look like after spending time together. However internally, you understand they may never become the individual you need.

You both may be a better fit in different situations to bring the best out of each other. It’s not that you two can’t make it work it’s just that the long term commitment comes with more doubts than sureties.

In the New Orleans Pelicans case with Jrue Holiday, there are many things to like. He is smart, agile, has great size and can pretty much do whatever is asked on a basketball court. He is a rarity in today’s game, being a legit efficient two-way player. Those players don’t come around often.

With that being said, the Pelicans have quite the choice to make this off-season. Do they resign him for close to or max money? Do they let him walk, and try to build around Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins in a different way?

The problem is neither decision is really that simple, as they both come with danger. This decision may decide if another year of Boogie is in store, or even if AD is back for another contract.

If the decision is bringing Jrue Holiday back, New Orleans will pay a guy who averaged 15 and seven last year elite point guard money.

If the Pels don’t, they have to creatively find players to complete this team. Those players will need to fit the Pels’ personnel needs and want to play in New Orleans.

Now sure, no commitment is ever really a true thing. There are ones though, that make better sense and feel better going forward than others. The Pelicans know exactly what they have in Jrue Holiday. An extremely unselfish, solid point guard that is capable of doing superstar-type things. He can do these superstar type things for decent stretches actually.

The issue is the New Orleans Pelicans can’t afford to pay a guy max money, who is just a star for stretches. The Pelicans need an aggressive force for that type of money. They need it every night. New Orleans needs to establish fear in the hearts of other teams in every matchup. The player or fit is not the issue. The issue is the commitment in discussion and the price that comes with it.

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Just like when dating after a while, you see exactly what a person is. Some accept it and some do not. For the past four years, Jrue Holiday has averaged 15.3 points, seven assists, and almost a steal and a half a game. Almost every team would take that right? Would every team take that, with one of their stars having one year left on a deal? What about their homegrown star only having three years left, with not much money to spare?

This is the NBA. Stars leave playoff consistent teams for better situations all the time. The Pelicans are already against the grain. One of The Pelicans biggest issues over the past few seasons has been depth. There is a need for multiple starting caliber wings, to compete on this team that can go with their super star big guys, not just one.

Holiday ranked number 19 in the league, when it comes to base salaries among point guards last season. Which means players like Jeremy Lin, Reggie Jackson, and Tony Parker all received higher salaries than Jrue. That easily will change and desirably so, as only seven players averaged at least 15 points and seven assists last season.

LeBron James, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Jeff Teague and John Wall were the others. While that’s elite company, you’d compare Jrue to Teague when asking if he’s worth the max. The other five players are capable of taking their games to different levels at any point.

Can fans say the same about Jrue Holiday? The answer is probably not.

There seems to be a line here, where if you do not think the Pelicans should resign Jrue, that you don’t appreciate or know how good he is. The reality is as good as he is, he’s not worth being paid over 20 million a year. At least, not on this current team.

Not on a team where both stars can be arguably top-five players any night and arguably do not need a star point guard to constantly create for them.

At one point A.D. did. However, those times have easily changed after last season and his career year. They need the funds to be able to afford a few more knock down shooters, play-makers, or back court players that do multiple things well.

When dating, it’s best to analyze the situation, make sure before a serious commitment is made and that it can last and succeed long term. The glimpse from last season shows the flaws in the long term, at least at a high level.

With so many uncertainties going into the draft and free agency, the Pelicans can not afford to guess wrong this time. If they had more time or more money, maybe the decision would be easier. However, they do not. Therefore, the decision is a tricky one to say the least.

The New Orleans Pelicans basically have the chance to ask Jrue Holiday to marry them.

In marriage “for better or worse” is the term. The players New Orleans can commit to in that manner are already on the receiving end of quite nice paychecks.

There’s a possibility of going after a Tim Hardaway Jr. or a Patty Mills, or even both.

Maybe the idea is George Hill can do similar things, or the Pels should dive all over a J.J. Redick.

For the New Orleans Pelicans to have a future with DeMarcus Counsins and Anthony Davis, no matter the route chosen, Jrue Holiday and a max contract should not be in the cards.

Next: Danny Ferry is the Solution the New Orleans Pelicans Need

Unless, you truly trust Jrue as a star, and that he alone is enough for the Pelicans to live happily ever after. However, it might end up to be quite a dangerous fairy tale by the Bayou.