Jrue Holiday

New York Notes: Knicks, Holiday, Nets

Justin Holiday said last month that he’d love to find a way to play on the same team as his brother Jrue Holiday next season, and both players are eligible for free agency this summer, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility. According to Marc Berman of The New York Post, the Knicks may be an ideal landing spot for the duo, since Justin is the sort of effective two-way player the club wants to retain, and New York will also be in the market for a point guard like Jrue if Derrick Rose doesn’t return.

With the Holiday brothers not competing in the playoffs, Justin Holiday tells The Post that they plan to “take some time off” and eventually will talk about their plans for the future. Given how dysfunctional the Knicks have been this season, it remains to be seen whether the elder Holiday will make an enthusiastic pitch to younger brother Jrue on behalf of the franchise.

Here’s more from out of New York on the Knicks and Nets:

  • Phil Jackson the coach is undermining Phil Jackson the team president, in the view of George Willis of The New York Post. As Willis details, Jackson’s comments on Friday made it sounds as if he intends to micromanage the club more in 2017/18, which probably doesn’t thrill Jeff Hornacek and likely won’t address the problems that ail the Knicks.
  • While 2016/17 was a disaster, there are ways for Jackson to fix the Knicks‘ roster, or at least take steps toward patching the holes, Berman writes in a piece for The New York Post. Berman examines potential defensive-minded free agent targets for the Knicks, as well as draft options for the club.
  • The Nets will use the draft, the trade market, and free agency to attempt to upgrade their roster this season, but head coach Kenny Atkinson and the team will also do all they can to find ways to improve the players already on the roster, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “We’re obsessed with that as a staff, one through 15: How can we get those guys better?” Atkinson said. “I’m sure I have a wish list that’s Utopian, but where we are we have to keep taking a lot of pride in developing the players we have. … To me, that’s your wish list: Get these guys better that are on your roster.”

Knicks Notes: Chemistry, Rose, Oakley

Many factors contributed to the Knicks’ disappointing season, though team chemistry belongs near the top of the list, Ian Begley of ESPN.com notes. Earlier in the season, Rose went missing for a game and he addressed his teammates on the following night, apologizing for putting them in a bad spot. Begley hears from a source that after Rose concluded, no one said a word and the scribe believes it’s a testament to the team’s lack of cohesiveness.

Here’s more from New York:

  • Prior to Derrick Rose‘s latest injury, the Knicks were still considering him as an option had they missed out on bigger free agent targets, such as Jrue Holiday and Jeff Teague, Begley writes in the same piece. Coach Jeff Hornacek recently said the team won’t close the door on a Rose return.
  • Rose would be happy to get another shot with the Knicks, but he’s excited to hit free agency for the first time in his career, Lonnae O’Neal of The Undefeated passes along. “I would love to stay here,” Rose said of New York. “I love my teammates, I love the coaches, I love the front office. But this will be the first time that I will hit free agency, so I want to take advantage of everything and just see what the free agency system is all about.”
  • Charles Oakley has been arraigned in court on charges stemming from his ejection from Madison Square Garden earlier this season, ESPN.com relays. Oakley has maintained his innocence and declared that he’ll fight the charges.
  • Carmelo Anthony is reportedly leaning toward waiving his no-trade clause this summer. Unless he and Phil Jackson can reconcile, New York will look to deal him.

Pelicans Notes: Holiday, Gentry, Cousins

The Pelicans weren’t able to achieve their goal of making the playoffs this season, but GM Dell Demps believes the team is on the right path to reach that pinnacle.

“We have positioned ourselves well for the future,” Demps said (via Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune). “We believe the future is bright. … One of our goals this season was to improve on defense and we did that (from 28th to 8th in defensive efficiency). And there was a time after the All-Star break where our offense started to gel and play better, and we were still playing good defense. So that gives us hope that this team is headed in the right direction.”

Here’s more from New Orleans:

  • The Pelicans want to bring Jrue Holiday back, but understand that the point guard has to weigh his options, as Justin Verrier of ESPN.com relays (Twitter link). “We love Jrue. We love his family. Obviously, we’d like to have him back. He’s got a tough decision to make. We’re going to let that process play out,” Demps said.
  • Demps described the status of the team’s coaching staff as in “evaluation mode,” but added that he likes the direction in which the team is heading, Verrier passes along via Twitter.
  • Coach Alvin Gentry hasn’t spoken to ownership about his future in New Orleans yet, Scott Kushner of The Advocate relays (Twitter links). In reference to successfully incorporating DeMarcus Cousins, Gentry said that he “doesn’t think [the team is] going to have to change that much.”
  • Demps believes the Pelicans are set up well for the future and a major reason why is the Cousins trade, Kushner adds (Twitter links). New Orleans had a record of 7-10 after making the deal, but Demps blames the lack of success on the big man’s health, explaining that the center played with a sore Achilles post All-Star break.

Southwest Notes: Boogie, Davis, Curry, Anderson, Diallo

Having been eliminated from the playoffs, the Pelicans will regroup and focus on 2017/18, Justin Verrier of ESPN writes. As Alvin Gentry notes, the Pels will benefit from Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins having a full preseason to learn how to play off one another.

“You can see he [Davis] and DeMarcus are going to be fine together,” Gentry said. “You put them in a training camp and you’re able to really hone in on what you want to do and how they can play together. They can be very, very effective. I think we have a chance to move forward.”

Aside from questions surrounding Jrue Holiday‘s free agency, the Pelicans will also have to sort out a roster shuffled by the Cousins trade. Over the season’s remaining four games, Verrier points out, the Pels would be best served to showcase Cheick Diallo and Quinn Cook over their frontcourt veterans.

More from around the Southwest…

  • Mavs coach Rick Carlisle isn’t sure Seth Curry will return by the end of the regular season, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News reports. Depending on the condition of Curry’s left shoulder, the team could shut down the former Blue Devil. “Seth’s doing all right,” Carlisle said. “I’m not sure at this point (about him playing in the final three games). It’s not something that we just rubber stamp and send him back out there. I hope he can play a couple of games, but if it’s not the right thing, he won’t do it.”
  • Ryan Anderson will play limited minutes in tonight’s matchup with Detroit, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports. An ankle injury had sidelined Anderson for Houston’s last six games. As the postseason nears, Anderson is eager to get back on track. “I’m going to play limited minutes, but that’s the plan,” Anderson told Feigen. “I’m excited about it. I feel strong. I feel good. I feel ready to go. It’s going to take a game or two to get back. That’s why we have these last few games to get ready and get mentally prepared for the playoffs, and physically.”
  • The Pelicans not having a designated D-League affiliate resulted in an “unorthodox” year of development for Diallo. A former Kansas Jayhawks standout, Cheick was assigned to the D-League seven times, playing for three different teams in 2016/17. “I just want to play, you know?” Diallo told Scott Kushner of The Advocate. “I go to any place and I don’t even know the coaches or the players on some of these D-League teams. Sometimes I didn’t even know where I was, whether in North Carolina or Texas or wherever. I just know the D-Leagues helped me a lot and it would help anyone a lot.”

Southwest Rumors: Anderson, Pelicans, Nowitzki, Spurs

Rockets power forward Ryan Anderson is expected to return to action this weekend after missing six games with a sprained right ankle, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports. Anderson practiced without limitations on Thursday and could return as soon as Friday against the Pistons, Feigen continues. Anderson feels it’s important to return to action before the postseason, as he relayed to Feigen. “It’s super valuable for me, in my mind, to be out there before the playoffs, to get my wind back, get back to the flow of playing with the group,” Anderson said. “Obviously, we want to have our full group ready to go at the best we can be for the playoffs. We have a few games to do that. We’ll be good. The timeline’s working out well.”

In other developments around the Southwest Division:

  • Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry believes his club can be a serious playoff contender next season if it re-signs unrestricted free agent point guard Jrue Holiday, William Guillory of the New Orleans Times-Picayune writes. Gentry is brimming with optimism that the trio of Holiday, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis can succeed after seeing the team go 8-5 over the past 13 games. “I think we’re light years ahead of where we were,” Gentry told Guillory. “We’ve got arguably two of the best 10 players in the NBA. Then you add Jrue to the mix, and hopefully that’s going to be somebody we can keep on our team, you’ve got guys that are a year older playing (together).”
  • Dirk Nowitzki realizes the Mavericks are probably a few years away from being a serous contender again but he’s enjoying his mentoring role, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. The team holds a $25MM option on Nowitzki’s contract for next season and he looks forward to playing with an increasingly younger group at least one more year, MacMahon adds. “To turn this around, to be a franchise that plays for the championship, is going to probably take a few years again,” Nowitzki told MacMahon. “I’ve got to do what I can to keep this thing going and get the young guys to improve and see where we can take this next year.”
  • New Mexico contacted Spurs assistant James Borrego regarding its head coaching job, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical tweets. Borrego, an Albuquerque native, was the interim coach of the Magic in 2015 before joining Gregg Popovich’s staff.

Jrue Holiday On His Future, Fit With The Pelicans

Jrue Holiday is set to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career, but he hasn’t yet begun to evaluate his options outside of New Orleans, as William Guillory of the Times- Picayune relays. “I haven’t thought about it, not even a little bit,” Holiday said.

Holiday’s teammates want to see him in a Pelicans’ uniform next season. “He’s huge for what we want to do here. I look at the situation, and if we have a full season, I’m pretty sure we’re in the playoffs,” Solomon Hill said. “He’s a game-changer. He’s top-10 in assists, defensively he’s one of the best point guards on both ends of the floor. That’s everything, I think that’s the main goal this offseason is to get him to re-sign and to get him to sign as long as he possibly can.”

The point guard believes he’s a good fit in coach Alvin Gentry’s system and he’s optimistic about the future of the franchise. “It’s been fun to play,” Holiday said when asked about the Pelicans‘ offense since the team traded for DeMarcus Cousins. “Obviously, we’ve been winning more frequently, put some streaks together. It’s been really good. Obviously, we added a big piece and we want to win more frequently, or whatever, but it’s been fun.”

Gentry has recently given Holiday more of a combo-guard role, playing him alongside point guard Tim Frazier in the starting lineup.

“I think that’s when he’s at his best,” said Gentry. “It’s not a negative, it’s more of a positive that, when we have two ball-handlers out there, we can create situations for Jrue where all the responsibility is not on him. I think Jrue is at his best when he’s thinking about scoring also.

“With DeMarcus [on the team], he has a tendency to want to be this ‘point guard’, but I want Jrue to always be aggressive offensively because we need those 16, 17 points that he gives us pretty much on a nightly basis.”

Holiday’s 2016/17 salary is worth slightly under $11.3MM. He’ll almost certainly see an annual salary above that figure on his next deal.

Knicks Rumors: Carmelo, Rose, Draft Targets

The triangle offense continues to be a source of tension in New York, with sources suggesting to Ian Begley of ESPN.com that the Knicks’ return to the triangle is one reason some veteran players have started to lose faith in head coach Jeff Hornacek recently. Despite Hornacek’s recent insistence that the triangle could hold some appeal to free agents, there’s concern in some corners of the organization that it could do the opposite, driving free agents away from the Knicks, Begley reports.

As Begley outlines, some Knicks players feel that the triangle is too easy for opposing teams to defend, with opposing players suggesting that they can predict where players will be on the court. Pacers point guard Jeff Teague alluded to this recently, telling Marc Berman of The New York Post that a player like Derrick Rose is easier to contain when he’s playing in the triangle.

According to Begley, there’s also some concern that if Knicks president Phil Jackson leaves the team in two or three years, there would be no guarantee that the team’s new president would insist on the same system. That could complicate the development of young players like Kristaps Porzingis and Willy Hernangomez, who would then have to learn a new offense after getting accustomed to the triangle.

Begley has several more Knicks-related items of interest to pass along, so let’s round up some of the highlights…

  • After shopping Carmelo Anthony a little earlier this year, the Knicks “remain committed” to moving him this summer, per Begley. Anthony will still control his future, so he’d have to waive his no-trade clause to accommodate a deal. However, sources tell Begley that some members of the Clippers organization expressed confidence last month that they could acquire Carmelo in the offseason.
  • Although the Knicks appeared at the trade deadline to be souring on the idea of keeping Derrick Rose long-term, the club hasn’t ruled out the possibility of re-signing him, says Begley. Some members of the organization view Jrue Holiday and Jeff Teague as potential free agent targets as well, as New York searches for an answer at point guard.
  • The Knicks will almost certainly have a top-10 pick in this year’s draft, and according to Begley, they’ve been eyeing players such as French guard Frank Ntilikina and Kentucky sharpshooter Malik Monk.
  • Team owner James Dolan publicly stated earlier in the year that he intends to exercise the Knicks’ half of the mutual option on Phil Jackson‘s contract this summer. Still, sources tell Begley that some people around Dolan have been urging him to consider making a change.

Knicks Notes: Porzingis, Hornacek, Jackson, Holiday

Kristaps Porzingis plans on working out with Dirk Nowitzki over the offseason, Marc Berman of the Post reports. While Mark Cuban initially wasn’t thrilled with the idea, the Mavs owner came to his senses, saying “It was all in fun. It’s up to Dirk.’’

Porzingis, meanwhile, intends to take advantage of an opportunity to learn from an all-time great.

“I’m sure it will help me out and improve my game, hopefully, unless Mark Cuban says no,’’ Porzingis said. “Dirk is a guy who can really help my game. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to work with him, a few days to get on the court with him and pick his brain.”

More from The Mecca…

  • In an interview with Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders, Justin Holiday reiterated his desire to play alongside his brother (and fellow free agent-to-be) Jrue Holiday. “That’s something we’ve talked about, and I’m sure we’ll talk about it more when the season is over.”
  • According to a report from Frank Isola of the Daily News, Phil Jackson may consider firing Jeff Hornacek after the season. Isola takes Jackson to task for being indifferent to the team’s dour mood, as well as being overly fixated on running the triangle offense. “Maybe Jackson’s plan is to be more hands-on knowing that Hornacek will not stand in his way. Under this arrangement Phil’s coaching the team without being on the bench. And it would be a recipe for an even bigger disaster,” Isola writes.
  • The Knicks must focus on Porzingis’ development amid their chaotic season, Steve Popper of The Record writes. “I think this year is a really good experience for me,” Porzingis said. “It’s a tough year. It’s a tough everything. There’s a quote like, a smooth sea never, you know what I mean about the sea? Google it. Basically if the sea is smooth you’re never going to become a great sailor. That’s how I always take it – as a challenge.”

Justin Holiday “Dreams” Of Playing With Brother

Justin Holiday told Marc Berman of the New York Post that he has long wanted to play alongside his brother, Jrue.

“If we can play together, that would be a dream come true and we’d be successful doing it,’’ Justin said. “We both want to win and both know each other’s game in and out. We both know what we’re going to get from each other when we play together. It just makes sense.”

Both Justin and Jrue Holiday are unrestricted free agents-to-be. Justin, who made $1,015,696 in 2016/17 with the Knicks, has averaged 7.5 points in a career-high 61 games. Jrue is slated for a considerably higher payday. According to Bobby Marks of The Vertical, Jrue should command $16MM or $17MM per year on the open market.

Berman notes that the Pelicans “are trying to build something special” following the DeMarcus Cousins trade, and could overpay for Jrue in free agency. Justin didn’t tip his hand about his plans for free agency- “The best thing for me now is not to stress too much about [free agency]”- though Berman noted the two are each clients of Glushon Sports Management.

“I know when we play together, good things happen because we know each other’s game so well,” Justin said. “We do play hard on both ends of the floor. When you have that at both positions, it’s going to help.”

Knicks Notes: Point Guard Search, Rose, Thomas

The Knicks will have a hard time finding their next point guard either through the draft or free agency, writes Fred Kerber of The New York Post. With Derrick Rose unlikely to return next season, getting a replacement will be an offseason priority. However, Kerber notes that New York’s draft pick won’t be high enough to snag one of the elite point guards available, and the top free agents are likely to stay where they are.

The Knicks are currently in a three-way tie for eighth in our latest Reverse Standings, giving them just a remote shot at a top two pick that will probably be necessary to draft Washington’s Markelle Fultz or UCLA’s Lonzo Ball. That leaves lower-tier options such as De’Aaron Fox of Kentucky or international standout Frank Ntilikina.

The problem is similar in free agency, where the Knicks will have about $25MM to spend, but the best available players — Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Kyle Lowry and George Hill — are all expected to remain with their current teams. Kerber says the Knicks might target Jrue Holiday or Jeff Teague, but the Pelicans and Pacers with both have Bird rights and the advantages of being able to offer more money and more years.

There’s more this morning from New York:

  • Rose is optimistic about reaching the playoffs despite the Knicks’ 25-36 record, and says he plans to unleash his 3-point shot in the postseason, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. “I’m trying to put pieces of my game together,” Rose said. “I’m not shooting 3s yet. Hopefully I’ll start shooting them in the playoffs. It’s going to take a lot of sacrifice and dedication to get there. I’m just adding pieces to my game throughout the season.”
  • One positive for Rose this season has been his health, Berman notes in the same piece. Rose has appeared in 52 of the team’s 61 games, and if he plays 15 more it will be the most in a season since his ACL tear in 2012. “Two times, three times a day, the entire summer,” Rose said of his offseason workout schedule. “I worked on my game and body. That’s one of the reasons my body is holding up.”
  • The Knicks’ defense has improved significantly since Lance Thomas returned six games ago, Berman writes in a separate story. Thomas missed about a month after taking an elbow to the face in a January game and breaking the orbital bone. The time off also allowed Thomas to overcome plantar fasciitis that had been affecting him since training camp.
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