Some members of the Knicks organization view Jrue Holiday as a free agent target for the club this summer, league sources tell Ian Begley of ESPN.com. As Begley points out, team president Phil Jackson displayed interest in trading for Holiday earlier in his tenure in New York, so it makes sense that the veteran point guard would be on the Knicks’ radar in the offseason.
After missing the start of the season due to a personal matter, Holiday has appeared in 45 games for the Pelicans in 2016/17, averaging 15.9 PPG and 7.4 APG to go along with a .457/.374/.705 shooting line. The 26-year-old is in the final year of his current contract, putting him in line to hit the open market this summer.
Although there are a number of big-name free agent point guards set to hit the market in July, many of those players – such as Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, and Kyle Lowry – are viewed as highly likely to re-sign with their current teams. That could leave a player like Holiday as one of the top options left on the board, though New Orleans is expected to make a strong effort to lock him up. Holiday acknowledged last week that the Pelicans view him as a part of their future along with Anthony Davis and newly-acquired DeMarcus Cousins.
The Knicks have a free-agent-to-be point guard of their own on the roster, with Derrick Rose on an expiring deal. Earlier in the season, it appeared that there might be mutual interest between Rose and the Knicks in a contract extension, but the odds of Rose remaining in New York long-term seem to have declined since then.
Here are a few more Knicks notes:
- On Monday, head coach Jeff Hornacek “firmly denied” that the Knicks had moved into tank mode, as Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. “Who says we’re trying to lose?” Hornacek said. “As a team we’re not thinking about losing. We’re still trying to win. Brandon [Jennings] being waived doesn’t mean [not] trying to win games. We feel Ron Baker can fill right in. It’s a different dynamic. He can control things and provide defense.”
- According to Berman, the Knicks recognized that Jennings was “unhappy” with his role in New York and that he would have been upset if his playing time had been reduced down the stretch. A source tells Berman that the Knicks felt the veteran guard was “no longer a fit” with the team, leading to his release. “Brandon wanted to play more minutes here,” Hornacek said. “With Derrick here, it made it awfully tough.”
- As Berman explains, even if the Knicks’ interest in re-signing Rose this summer is limited, the team may hang onto him until season’s end to keep his cap hold on the books, in case it can help accommodate a sign-and-trade.