Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday will make his season debut against the Trail Blazers on Friday, GM Dell Demps told Justin Verrier of ESPN com (Twitter link). This confirms a report from The Vertical last week that Holiday’s return was imminent.
That’s a dose of good news for a team that has muddled through the first few weeks of the season. The Pelicans have the Western Conference’s worst record at 2-9 despite the efforts of superstar forward Anthony Davis, who is averaging 30.5 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks while posting a PER of 29.57.
Holiday, who is making approximately $11.3MM this season, has battled a variety of injuries in recent seasons but his absence this time was for personal reasons. He has been taking care of his wife Lauren, who underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor last month, and his newborn daughter.
Holiday, 26, has spent the last three seasons with the Pelicans, though he’ll be an unrestricted free agent in July. Last season, he averaged 16.8 PPG and 6.0 APG in 65 games. He appeared in a total of just 74 games in his first two years with New Orleans.
New Orleans has been shorthanded all season, with Tyreke Evans and Quincy Pondexter sidelined by health issues. Tim Frazier has handled the bulk of the ballhandling duties in Holiday’s absence, averaging 11.4 points, 7.9 assists and 3.5 rebounds.