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Pelicans’ Jrue Holiday appreciates David Griffin saying he can be MVP candidate

Jrue Holiday, David Griffin, Pelicans

Earlier this summer, New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said point guard Jrue Holiday could win the MVP award next season.

Griffin said Holiday can have a similar MVP campaign like Steve Nash, who won back-to-back MVP awards with the Phoenix Suns.

With Anthony Davis gone, the Pelicans are officially Holiday’s team. He’ll be the No. 1 option on offense for the first time in his NBA career.

Holiday, an elite two-way guard, says he appreciates Griffin’s MVP comments:

“It means a lot,” Holiday said of Griffin’s declaration, via Will Guillory of The Athletic. “I do know it’s a business, but I trust Griff and I trust his word. To have those words said about (me) feels awesome and it makes you feel appreciated.”

Jrue Holiday averaged 21.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 7.7 assists last season for the Pelicans while shooting 47.2 percent from the field, 32.5 percent from beyond the arc and 76.8 percent from the free-throw line. He missed the final 15 games of the 2018-19 season due to a core muscle injury which required surgery.

Holiday has been training relentlessly in Los Angeles this summer because he knows his workload next season is going to be substantial. The Pelicans could make the playoffs in 2019-20 after the moves they made this offseason.

New Orleans acquired Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart from the Los Angeles Lakers in the Anthony Davis trade, traded for veteran big man Derrick Favors, signed shooting guard JJ Redick in free agency, and drafted Zion Williamson, Jaxson Hayes, Marcos Louzada Silva and Nickeil Alexander-Walker in the 2019 NBA Draft.

The Pelicans, though, are going to go as far as Holiday can take them.