First, I must start by saying Lauren Holiday is in our thoughts and we wish the entire Holiday family health in the coming months. They are a truely amazing family and are certainly strong enough to get through this sort of thing.
Jrue Holiday is out indefinitely. He will miss at least the first month of the 2016 season. That leaves the Pelicans with a hole at point guard. We already knew Tyreke Evans would be out at the start of the season. Now Jrue will be gone as well. The roster only has one true point guard left in Tim Frazier and two combo guards in Langston Galloway and E’Twuan Moore.
The Jrue Holiday news certainly explains the Pelicans’ reported interest in Lance Stephenson and Ty Lawson, as they will obviously need help at PG now. The Pelicans should be able to apply for a roster exception from the league, granting them a temporary 16th roster spot in Jrue’s absence. I like the idea of the Pelicans picking up a point guard off the market, specifically Lance Stephenson, but I do like the players we have.
I loved the way Tim Frazier ran the offense at the end of last season and this year there should be actual NBA talent on the floor with him. The problem is not Frazier’s ability to pass, its his ability to defend. One of Jrue’s strengths is his defense and replacing that will be difficult. The Pelicans acqusisitions this offseason are all plus defenders, but they can only do so much. Having Holiday on all of the great point guards in the Western Conference has helped the Pelicans when he’s been on the floor. This is part of the reason why I like Lance Stephenson. If you can motivate him, he was a great on-ball defender in Indiana and could come in and help the Pels in a big way.
Langston Galloway and E’Twuan Moore are the real unknowns. Maybe Galloway is ready for the starting spot. He’s a good defender but is not nearly the scorer or shooter Jrue is. Galloway did start some in New York, but that was more a function of the Knicks thin roster. Moore, on the other hand, is more of a shooting guard but could play some point. Alvin Gentry could opt to start Buddy Hield and Moore, and they would share point guard responsibilities.
Anyway, there are many options for the Pelicans front office and coaches to figure out. Let’s all just hope and root for a quick return by Jrue as a function of his family’s health.