How will Jrue Holiday Fit into the Pelicans Cap Space?
The Pelicans have little salary cap flexibility, so utilizing Holiday’s Bird Rights is one of their best avenues at putting together a highly competitive team onto the floor.
The Pelicans obviously have his bird rights and could bring him back by going over the cap.
As the roster stands the Pelicans have roughly $15.6M in cap space this summer. They need to resign Jrue Holiday and add depth.
If I was the GM of the Pelicans my top priority would be to find a way to open more cap space by dumping off Solomon Hill, Alexis Ajinca and/or Omer Asik without giving up a first-round pick. This is much easier said than done, but that trio of players combine for more than $28M next season and about $28 worth of on-court production.
However, assuming the Pelicans make no miracle moves or win the draft lottery I would use Holiday’s bird rights and resign him to a reasonable deal (five year/$120M), use the mid-level exception and bi-annual exception to add some depth and hope to find some more quality league minimum players like Jordan Crawford.
I’m not a cap guy so I can’t speculate on money. I just hate this philosophy of over paying in the long term.
If the New Orleans Pelicans want to keep Jrue, they will need to spent most of their space. Jrue’s relationship with New Orleans is strong, especially after how the Pelicans let Jrue handle his real life troubles at the beginning of the season. Holiday will likely give New Orleans top priority, if they are willing to hand over the big pay check. However, the cap is a scary situation, for a team set in “Playoffs or Bust” mode. Still, they might not have a better option at point guard realistically available.
Bringing Jrue back will for sure cost the Pelicans all of their cap space. That creates a problem as they still need more quality spacers and playmakers. If it doesn’t cost them the max it will be close. I don’t see how that happens. They would need to sign Jrue to a contract under $120 million to come close to getting a wing that can for sure contribute. The pickings are already slim and a mid level just may not do it.
Obviously he will send them over. I originally wrote this question for the experts of our rival teams in free agency. The Pelicans will be in a bind financially once Holiday resigns, with the aforementioned MLE, BLE, and TIE being their only avenues of improvement.
They will have to get creative to offload the contracts of Asik, Ajinca, and/or Quincy Pondexter, and shore up a roster that is far more than just one contributor away from contention.