David Griffin says Pelicans are still Jrue Holiday’s team, not Zion Williamson’s
New Orleans Pelicans vice president David Griffin tempered expectations after Thursday’s bombastic NBA Draft, following a franchise triumph upon selecting Zion Williamson with the No. 1 overall pick. The newly-hired front office exec was quick to point out that while Williamson’s addition is franchise-changing, he must first get the baton from veteran point guard Jrue Holiday.
“This is Jrue Holiday’s team,” said Griffin, according to ESPN’s Malika Andrews. “Zion is going to be learning how to win at a really high level. At some point, if there is a time that the baton gets passed in terms of who is expected to carry us to win games, it will. That is not now.”
“Let Zion be that kid. Don’t write this like he is here to save this franchise. He is not. He is here to join this family.”
Griffin is taking action quickly and prudently, showcasing his experience at the front office ranks and his know-how around the NBA.
While the executive had little choice but to acquiesce to LeBron James’ requests with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he has all the means for control with a young star in the making in Williamson, rather than dealing with the biggest superstar in the game.
Griffin’s cautious approach works beautifully for the Pelicans, empowering Holiday, who the team hopes is willing to stay through this rebuild, while taking some pressure off Williamson’s shoulders after being lauded as the best NBA prospect since James in 2003.
New Orleans has been busy trying to rebuild this franchise, wheeling and dealing for draft picks and ensuring the future of this team is in safe hands. As long as Griffin is at the helm, there’s little doubt the Pelicans will get better over time.