Jrue Holiday has undergone surgery on his fractured right tibia and will miss the rest of the season, reports Jim Eichenhofer of Pelicans.com. New Orleans is already without starting center Jason Smith for the balance of 2013/14, and Ryan Anderson is likely out for the season, too.
The Pelicans received a Disabled Player Exception for Anderson worth $4,154,250, but it’s too late to apply for another such exception to compensate for Smith or Anderson. New Orleans probably won’t use the majority of its Anderson exception, which expires March 10th, since most available players would command only the minimum salary. The Pelicans received the exception shortly before the deadline, but the team didn’t make a move.
There’s little motivation for the Pelicans to push for the playoffs at this point, since they’re 10 games out of the postseason and in 12th place in the Western Conference. They’re four games up on the Celtics, who hold the fifth-worst record in the league, and if the Pelicans’ draft pick winds up in the top five this year, they get to keep it rather than send it to the Sixers. They agreed to surrender the first-rounder to Philadelphia in last summer’s trade to acquire Holiday.
The 23-year-old point guard hasn’t played since January 8th because of the injury. Holiday averaged 14.3 points and 7.9 assists per game with a career-high 17.4 PER this season, the first on a four-year, $41MM extension he signed while still with the Sixers.