The Future of Jrue Holiday: A Bird Writes, Saints Nation and Pelican Debrief Roundtable

Feb 8, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) signals against the Utah Jazz during the first quarter at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 8, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) signals against the Utah Jazz during the first quarter at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /
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The future of Jrue Holiday is the most polarizing topic for New Orleans Pelicans fans this offseason.

Pelican Debrief continues the Jrue Holiday roundtable discussions with representatives from our friends at The Bird Writes and Saints Nation.

How can Jrue Holiday make the Pelicans better in 2017/18 than they would be without him?

Bird Writes (@TheBirdWrites)

Oleh Kosel Editor in Chief (@Redhopeful)

Jrue Holiday is a legitimate two-way point guard in the league whose broad range of skills are both unique and enviable. First and foremost, he is a tenacious defender that can guard any player on the wing, and on rare occasions, handle a bigger opponent in the post for a possession. Offensively, he has been an above average floor general for his career and can punish individual opponents from the rim out to the three-point line.

Kevin Barrios (@KevinBforBounce)

Jrue is an elite defender that is one of the most versatile in the league. He can switch on anyone. He generally allows Bigs to think that they have the advantage on him with their size. But then Holiday will use his hand speed and wingspan to strip them, effectively contest a shot or even block their shots. Along with this he adds at minimum average play making and scoring at the one.

Jason Albert (@IAmJasonAlbert)

Jrue Holiday may not jump off the page when looking at a team’s starting lineup, but he is an above average point guard.

On offense Holiday is a capable scorer (15.4 PPG on 45.3 FG%, 35.6 3PT%) as well as a solid playmaker who averaged 7.3 APG (8th in the NBA). However, defense is where Holiday shines amongst his peers.

Holiday averaged 1.49 SPG (8th highest amongst point guards) and led all point guards with .66 BPG. Holiday has a plus-minus of 1.82 (only .10 less than Kyrie Irving) and 1.19 of that is defensive plus-minus (4th highest amongst point guards.)

So, Holiday is not an elite point guard but he is a solid player that would make most teams better as a starter. And he is someone you should be happy your team signed… unless it is to a max deal (which would start at just over $30M) then you have all rights to be upset, even livid.

The Saints Nation (@SaintsNationBlg)

Andrew Juge, Owner and Creator (@Andrew Juge)

Jrue doesn’t make Pelicans better but he ensures they don’t go backwards. If you can acquire a guard that will be better I’d be all for it. However, I don’t think the Pelicans can this offseason. So like Nick Fairley – it’s less about improvement and more about not going backwards.

Pelican Debrief (@PelicanDebrief)

Rick Stone – Editor (@RickStoneNBA)

The Pelicans clearly need a floor general to compliment Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. They may not find a better one available than Jrue Holiday. That is especially true in the pick-and-roll, where Davis shines in the right spots. He also has the right skill set on offense and defense, to work with a slower type offensive unit. When he’s comfortable and healthy, he’s lethal. He also has a chemistry with Davis that no other point guard can match at this very moment. If the Pelicans want to have comfort and talent at the point guard position, that has the knowledge of the system, Holiday’s the guy.

Chris Conner (@ImpatientBull)

Jrue Holiday makes the Pelicans better because he’s the best available. He’s provides stability in Alvin Gentry’s offense and is a team first guy. He’s also a hell of a two-way player when on the floor and a favorite of AD’s. However, the money he will more than likely demand may handicap the Pelicans being able to fill their other existing needs.

Josiah Brady (@steadylosing)

The front office is probably mulling whether Jrue Holiday’s growth will emerge quickly enough to view him as a candidate for building continuity with Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. Offensively, this trio was underwhelming; an essentially league-average offensive efficiency (post-ASB) would indicate that the Pelicans were entirely too stagnant at times. Therefore, determining whether their direction will be with or without Jrue is vital/central to the offseason’s outlook. Can Holiday complement the Pelicans’ front court scoring prowess in the future?