Pelicans’ David Griffin suggests Jrue Holiday can win MVP
Once Anthony Davis made his intentions clear last winter, the writing was on the wall for Jrue Holiday’s tenure with the New Orleans Pelicans. After all, why would one of basketball’s most effective two-way guards want to continue his prime playing for a rebuilding team several years removed from contention?
But the arrival of Zion Williamson changed everything for the Pelicans, and so did the compensation New Orleans received from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for finally honoring Davis’ trade request. The Pelicans don’t just possess one of the most promising young cores in basketball and a treasure trove of draft assets, but after adding J.J. Redick and Derrick Favors in free agency, suddenly have realistic playoff hopes in a wide-open Western Conference, too.
As executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin sees it, though, a goal of making the postseason in 2019-20 is probably selling New Orleans short. Why? He believes Holiday has what it takes to be in MVP consideration.
“I do, and nobody thought Steve Nash was and he was two-time MVP, and people would’ve thought we were insane for even uttering that notion,” Griffin said, per Bleacher Report, of Holiday’s chances of winning MVP. “Players in this league are so gifted. When you’re as good as Jrue Holiday is, what makes you take that next step is just your vision of self, and sometimes you need to be given permission to dominate people. And in his situation with Anthony around, I think he was always sort of waiting, as if it was Anthony’s job. And now Jrue knows it’s his job, and he’s ready to do that.”
Holiday averaged 21.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 7.7 assists, and 1.6 steals per game last season, all career-highs. Though he failed to earn All-NBA honors, the 28-year-old was named Second Team All-Defense, evidence of his status as perhaps the top perimeter defender in the league.