Reasons To Be Excited About Training Camp: No. 4 Jrue Holiday
No. 4:Jrue Holiday
NBA All-Star point guards who are only 23 virtually never become available in the free-agent or trade markets. Fortunately for the New Orleans Pelicans, on draft night the Philadelphia 76ers were looking to hit the reset button on their roster. In a deal that may benefit both teams long-term, the 76ers traded their best player, Jrue Holiday, to the Pelicans in exchange for first-round picks in 2013 (Nerlens Noel) and 2014.
New Orleans acquired a rising star who instantly makes the Pelicans better at both ends of the floor, having averaged more points (17.7) last season than anyone on the current roster. Holiday also finished fourth in the NBA in assists (8.0) per game, while drawing praise for his individual defense. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder was 18th in the NBA in steals, at 1.58 per game, and received one vote in NBA All-Defense balloting. He’ll also help the Pelicans’ perimeter shooting accuracy, as a career 37.4 percent three-point marksman. His 91 makes would’ve ranked him second on last season’s New Orleans club, behind only Ryan Anderson (213).
Holiday said earlier this summer that learning he’d been traded by Philadelphia was jarring news at first, but within minutes, he was already appraising New Orleans’ young and talented roster. He liked what he saw.
“For me, coming to a new team, and the way they put the team together and the pieces that they have, it’s nothing but excitement,” Holiday said. “We want to prove ourselves (and) how good we can be.”