Tag: Jrue Holiday

Jrue Holiday

Jrue Holiday will be cleared for Pelicans’ training camp — with restrictions

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Last season, New Orleans made the playoffs for the first time since trading away Chris Paul in 2011. They were swept in the first round by the eventual champion Warriors, but the Pelicans enter the season widely expected to make a leap and become a factor in the postseason this year. Having Anthony Davis, a 22-year-old MVP candidate and destroyer of worlds, helps. But a lot of the Pelicans’ success this season will depend on health, and so far the signals on that are mixed when it comes to a few of their key players.

Starting point guard Jrue Holiday had leg surgery this summer, and head coach Alvin Gentry tells John Reid of the Times-Picayune that he’ll be cleared to practice when training camp starts, albeit with some limitations:

New Orleans Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday has made enough progress in his recovery from offseason surgery in his lower right leg that he’s expected to be cleared for training camp later this month.

But Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said on Friday that Holiday is likely going to be under restrictions involving practicing just once a day when two-a-day practices are scheduled during camp, which is set to open on Sept. 29 at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.

Quincy Pondexter, meanwhile, will take a little longer to get healthy after undergoing knee surgery in May. Gentry says he won’t be available until November:

The outlook, however, is a little more bleaker for starting small forward Quincy Pondexter. It’s looking like the Pelicans may have to wait until this upcoming November for Pondexter to fully recover from undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in May.

The Pelicans didn’t do much this offseason in terms of additions, and they’re banking on a more offensive-minded coach to help them take a step forward after last year’s relative success. In order for that to come to fruition, they will need everybody to be healthy, and hope for no more setbacks to Holiday, Pondexter, or anyone else.

Jrue Holiday will be back for Pelicans’ training camp. With minutes restrictions.

Memphis Grizzlies v New Orleans Pelicans
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Jrue Holiday has missed 90 games the past two seasons due to injury, including replacing a screw already in his lower leg from a previous surgery. If New Orleans is going to take a step forward this season, it has to include Holiday staying healthy. Remember, the Sixers had to pay a $3 million penalty for not disclosing Holiday’s injuries pre-trade, his injuries have been a real issue.

But he’s going to be ready for the start of training camp. Sort of. He’ll be there, but the wisely cautious Pelicans are going to take it slow, something coach Alvin Gentry admitted to the Times-Picayune.

But Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said on Friday that Holiday is likely going to be under restrictions involving practicing just once a day when two-a-day practices are scheduled during camp, which is set to open on Sept. 29 at The Greenbrier in West Virginia…

Holiday has not experienced any setbacks in his rehab this summer, but the Pelicans intend to monitor him cautiously that could include minute restrictions for both preseason and early regular season games.

This is the prudent course of action. The Pelicans need to win games early — they are not the Warriors, they can’t coast for a couple of months — but the goal is to be healthy late in the season and heading into the playoffs. This gets them on the right path.

There is another injury for the Pelicans where the news is not as good: Quincy Pondexter. He may not be ready to go until November, missing camp and the start of the season.

”Just one of those things that’s just takes time, he’s going to be OK,” Gentry said during a refurbished basketball court dedication ceremony on Friday involving the Pelicans and Chevron at Rev. Peter Atkins Park in Covington.


Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey chose chance of greatness over safer route to being merely good

Nerlens Noel, LaMarcus Aldridge

At face value, the Trail Blazers’ and 76ers’ offseasons took completely different approaches to rebuilding this offseason.

The Blazers traded for Noah Vonleh, Gerald Henderson, Mason Plumlee and Maurice Harkless. They signed Al-Farouq Aminu and Ed Davis. They also signed Enes Kanter to an offer sheet, though the Thunder matched.

Philadelphia, on the other hand, highlighted free agency by… signing Pierre Jackson and Scotty Wilbekin, two players without NBA experience. Sure, the 76ers also traded for Nik Stauskas, Jason Thompson and Carl Landry. But Thompson and Landry were the tax necessary to require positive assets, and Philadelphia already flipped Thompson. Even Stauskas, a nice piece, was an afterthought relative to the draft considerations conveyed by the Kings.

Portland acquired five Stauskases – recent first-round picks still looking to find their place in the NBA.

But, as Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey tells it, his team has a similar philosophy to the 76ers. Portland is just taking a different route.

Michael Lee of The Washington Post:

Once Aldridge decided to leave, the Blazers didn’t waste their time trying to chase Matthews (who signed a four-year, $70 million deal with Dallas), Lopez (who took a four-year, $52 million deal with New York) or even reserve Arron Afflalo (who left for a two-year, $16 million deal with New York).

Olshey didn’t feel the need to keep together the same core while simply trying to replace a four-time all-star because, “absent LaMarcus Aldridge, that group was not going to be good enough,” he said. “We judge ourselves by high standards and if we can’t compete at the highest levels, then we had to go in a different direction.”

76ers general manager Sam Hinkie has made clear his lengthy and deep rebuild is designed to culminate in championship contention. There are simpler paths to getting good, and Hinkie clearly isn’t taking those. (Matt Moore of CBSSports.com wrote an excellent article on the difference.)

Being great usually requires a superstar. Getting a superstar usually requires a high first-round pick. A high first-round pick usually requires a terrible record.

There is logic behind Philadelphia’s unprecedented multi-year commitment to tanking.

Olshey definitely indicates he has a similar championship-or-bust attitude, and he concluded retaining Wesley Matthews, Robin Lopez, Arron Afflalo and Nicolas Batum after LaMarcus Aldridge joined the Spurs would have taken the Trail Blazers further from a title. They might have been better in the short-term, but those highly paid veterans would have limited Portland’s potential to grow into a great team.

That’s a logical assessment, similar to the one Hinkie made with the Jrue Holiday-led roster he inherited.

At this point, Olshey took a different route than Hinkie.

The Trail Blazers paid a relatively small price for its young veterans, and I like the moves. I wouldn’t be surprised if at least one of Vonleh, Plumlee, Harkless, Aminu and Davis becomes capable of playing a major role on a title contender. It’s a luxury to bet on so many intriguing players.

But the moves come with a cost. Those players are already decent, and they should make Portland better than Philadelphia this season. That means the Trail Blazers effectively moved down in the draft. Maybe the value of these additions offsets that, but Philadelphia has done little to jeopardize its draft position.

Perhaps, Olshey didn’t have a choice. Damian Lillard might have dictated Portland couldn’t fully tank. Just how bad could a team with Lillard really be? The 76ers don’t have anyone near his caliber, so declining to become good now is an easier choice.

Maybe Olshey and Hinkie would have acted differently if they were in the other’s situation. Circumstances matter.

But bottom line: The Trail Blazers and 76ers have the same mindset. They want to be great. They’re not as concerned with being good before that’s possible.

Report: Jason Terry unsatisfied with Rockets offer, considering Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans v Houston Rockets

Jason Terry said he was close to re-signing with the Rockets, but that was also around the time they renounced him.

Houston can still re-sign the guard. It will just take a cap exception other than a Bird exception to do so. The Rockets have two exceptions available:

  • The part of the mid-level exception not already used on K.J. McDaniels ($2,274,206)
  • The minimum-salary exception ($1,499,187)

Using any of the mid-level exception would push Houston past the non-taxpayer level and into the taxpayer level – triggering the hard cap. I doubt Daryl Morey wants to be bound by that restriction, which would limit his ability to make a big splash during the season

So, you can bet the Rockets are offering just the minimum-salary exception. I figured that would have been enough, given Houston’s title chances and proven ability to put Terry in position to succeed.

Alas, he sees it differently.

Marc Berman of Fox 26:

The Pelicans, already hard-capped, can offer the bi-annual exception ($2,139,000). It’s unlikely the hard cap – even with Terry in the fold – would significantly restrict New Orleans to the degree it would Houston.

Besides, the Pelicans really need Terry. They’re mighty thin behind Jrue Holiday and Eric Gordon, both of whom have faced significant injuries in recent years. Even re-signing restricted free agent Norris Cole wouldn’t alleviate New Orleans’ backcourt depth concerns – and he’s not re-signed yet. Terry, a combo guard, would give the Pelicans flexibility to prioritize help at either backcourt position.

The Rockets – with James Harden, Ty Lawson, Patrick Beverley and Marcus Thornton – aren’t nearly as needy at guard. Houston will almost certainly sign another point guard, and Terry is probably the first choice. But if Terry won’t accept a minimum salary, the Rockets would likely let him walk and find someone who will.

Anthony Davis excited to get running in Alvin Gentry’s offense

Golden State Warriors v New Orleans Pelicans - Game Four

Anthony Davis said he has spent a chunk of his summer working his conditioning.

The reason is Alvin Gentry and his up-tempo offense is coming to New Orleans.

The Pelicans had a top 10 offense last season, but they were bottom five in pace of play. With Gentry coming in — the guy in charge of the Clippers then Warriors offenses the past two seasons, the top two offenses in the NBA last season — the tempo of everything is about to speed up.

And Davis is pumped about it, he told the Associated Press.

“I definitely love his playing style,” Davis said. “My teammates, they have a lot of confidence in coach Gentry. I think that’s why everybody’s coming back.

“In order for us to be that contender that we want to be, we have to have a lot of chemistry, which we have from the past few years,” Davis added. “So it’s good that everybody’s going to come back and we’re going to be able to have that chemistry ready for coach’s new system.”

The Pelicans grabbed the eighth seed last season and did that despite starting point guard Jrue Holiday missing half the season, plus guys such as Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon missing 21 games each. If the Pelicans stay healthy, they get better.

Throw in the bump that will come with Gentry’s offense, and the Pelicans should take a step forward.

How big a step will depend on the other end of the floor — the Pelicans were a bottom 10 NBA defense last season. Despite having Omer Asik and Davis patrolling the paint. If Gentry gets them playing well on that end, well, the West picks up another dangerous team.