It appears New Orleans is ready to pay the cost of that.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
By all accounts, the Pelicans were great to Holiday while his pregnant wife battled a brain tumor last year. I’m sure he appreciates that.
But looking ahead rather than behind, the best way for them to show their commitment is money. The question: Will New Orleans keep Holiday for anything less than the max, which projects to be worth nearly $144 million over five years?
Holiday gives the Pelicans – including general manager Dell Demps, who appears to be on the hot seat – the best chance of making the Anthony Davis–DeMarcus Cousins pairing work before Cousins’ hits unrestricted free agency next year. If Holiday got away, New Orleans would have just about $12 million to find a replacement starting point guard. That’s not enough to land a player near his caliber.
At least Holiday is just 27, younger than comparable free agent point guards – Kyle Lowry (31), Jeff Teague (29) and George Hill (31). Beyond the injury risk, no small factor, Holiday’s production should hold up well enough over a five-year deal.