There is a growing belief among teams interested in Jrue Holiday that the soon-to-be free-agent guard will come to terms quickly in free agency to stay with the New Orleans Pelicans and is thus out of reach, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN that the Pelicans plan to make a rich five-year offer to Holiday as soon as free agency begins Saturday at 12:01 a.m. ET and rank as strong favorites to strike the verbal agreement that secures the long-term future of their backcourt linchpin in support of frontcourt stars Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.
Specific figures won’t be clear until later Friday, when the league informs teams of next season’s official salary-cap and luxury-tax numbers, but a five-year maximum deal could exceed $170 million.
Sources say the strong bond Holiday formed with the organization last season, in the wake of the health crisis that forced the 27-year-old to miss the first 12 games of the 2016-17 season to care for his ailing wife (former U.S. women’s national soccer team Lauren Holiday) and their newborn child, is high among the factors that have made New Orleans a strong favorite to retain him.
Holiday averaged 15.4 points and 7.3 assists last season and made one All-Star appearance (2013) while still a member of the Philadelphia 76ers.