During the middle of May, the idea of Jrue Holiday leaving New Orleans seemed more likely than not, but several new developments over the past week have dramatically changed that thinking.
Brian Windhorst relayed to Zach Lowe on his latest podcast released this last Friday that he believes the Pelicans will pony up the money to re-sign Holiday. Starting at the 16:38 minute mark, Windhorst states:
“I think New Orleans is prepared to spend, from what I understand. I think ownership understands the point in time they are with Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. Even if you don’t look at him as a $30 million point guard, he’s about to head there from what I understand; it will be very close.”
Windhorst is one of the more connected NBA writers working for ESPN so listening to him detail the notion that the Pelicans are leaning towards meeting Holiday’s contract demands shows the two parties are no longer far apart on the terms as once presumed.
Then in an article posted by The Advocate yesterday, Alvin Gentry admitted to Scott Kushner that he likes Holiday’s chances of staying with the Pelicans.
I think we are planning on having Jrue back, and I’m hoping that’s something that can happen. I think if we do get him back you’re going to see the best Jrue Holiday since I’ve been here, because obviously the thing with his wife has gotten a lot better and his body is probably in the best shape it’s been in a few years.
So, if we can get that done, which I think we will, then I think we’ve got a heck of a player and there are a few other guys I think we can add to the mix. The thing for us is we have to go into this season as a healthy team. By that, I mean the core we have has to be healthy
There really aren’t other ways to interpret the phrases ‘we are planning on having Jrue back’ and ‘which I think we will,’ right?
In addition to the Pelicans head coach and an NBA insider speaking positively about Holiday staying with New Orleans, I can’t help but now consider the timing of several posts on Instagram in hindsight. Just a few days after writing The threat of Jrue Holiday leaving New Orleans during free agency is growing by the day, pictures and videos of Holiday working out in full team gear at the Pelicans practice facility started to appear on the internet. In all, six posts have been made by Holiday’s personal trainer, Coach Mike G, with the latest coming yesterday — less than a week from the start of free agency.
The writing appears to be on the wall. With Jrue Holiday continuing to utilize the practice facilities and give his consent to revealing workout pictures of him on social media, coupled with all the recent news and rumors, it’s not hard to imagine at this late stage that he also expects to sign a new contract with the New Orleans Pelicans in the very near future.