The Mavericks are in position to potentially draft their point guard of the future in June, but the team is also keeping an eye on the free agent market as a way of upgrading the position. According to Ian Begley of ESPN.com, one veteran on Dallas’ radar is Jrue Holiday, who is viewed by members of the Mavs organization as a free agent target this summer.
Holiday, who will turn 27 next month, turned in another solid season for the Pelicans, averaging 15.4 PPG and 7.3 APG in 32.7 minutes per contest. New Orleans has expressed a desire to bring him back, and holds his Bird rights, allowing the club to go over the cap to re-sign him. The Pelicans can also offer Holiday more years and overall dollars than any other team, though it’s not clear if they’re prepared to go up to the max to get a deal done.
If the Mavs were to seriously pursue Holiday, it may require re-working Dirk Nowitzki‘s contract or making a trade. Currently, Dallas has about $60MM in guaranteed salary on its books for 2017/18, but that figure doesn’t include Nowitzki’s $25MM team option, which would significantly cut into the club’s cap room. If the German big man is willing to accept a lower salary, the Mavs could potentially create the space for a max salary, or at least something close to it.
In addition to the Mavs and Pelicans, the Knicks have been frequently cited as a probable suitor for Holiday this summer. New York and Dallas currently hold the eighth and ninth picks in this year’s draft, and point guard prospects like Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina may still be on the board at that point, so the draft results could have an impact on how seriously those teams pursue Holiday.
Teams looking to sign Holiday will likely be wary of his injury history — he has only averaged about 52 games per year since arriving in New Orleans in 2013. Still, 2016/17 was his healthiest season during that stretch. He missed some time in the fall to attend to a personal matter and then was nagged by a toe injury in December, but appeared in 67 games overall.