Nuggets Rumors: Denver interested in Jrue Holiday in NBA free agency

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 31: Jrue Holiday
NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 31: Jrue Holiday /

The Denver Nuggets will be as aggressive as possible in 2017 NBA free agency, and that includes a possible pursuit of Jrue Holiday.

The Denver Nuggets aren’t the biggest market or the biggest attraction to players in NBA free agency, despite just narrowly missing the playoffs last season. There aren’t a ton of big-name players expected to move either, but the Nuggets are going to add what they can and they want more firepower.

According to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News, New Orleans Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday has caught the Nuggets’ interest:

"“Holiday will draw interest from the Nuggets, a source said, and Denver is expected to be aggressive on the free-agent market.”"

If the Nuggets really are high on Holiday, they’ll be helped out somewhat by recent changes in the NBA point guard market, as Deveney pointed out. Brooklyn have D’Angelo Russell now, Philadelphia drafted Markelle Fultz, Chicago is rebuilding and may no longer be interested and Chris Paul is in Houston. Meanwhile, point guards like Ricky Rubio and Eric Bledsoe (connected to Denver at one point) are available, giving teams an avenue to pursue an upgrade via trade rather than free agency. Simply put, there isn’t countless competition for Denver.

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This Pelicans are still in the driving seat, though, and Deveney reported one comment from an NBA executive that “they’re going to do all that they can to keep him.”

Essentially, the Pelicans are going to offer as much money as they can and the Nuggets’ chances aren’t super high. But should they be highly interested, anyway?

With few high-caliber point guards on the market such players will come at a high price (the Pelicans can offer Holiday a five-year, $170 million contract). The Nuggets will have to fork out a lot for what isn’t necessarily their biggest area of need. Someone who can significantly bolster their defense or a star (if they’re being hopeful) is the ideal target, as so much of the offense can run through Nikola Jokic. Holiday wouldn’t be used at the height of his creative playmaking powers and causes reason for concern when it comes to making a huge offer.

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Of course, if Danilo Gallinari isn’t re-signed, having Holiday as another creator would be a real help to add diversity and he could provide another offensive punch. But seeing as Holiday has a troubling injury history (despite his strong performance once he found his rhythm last season) and will command max money on a long-term deal, it would be best for Denver to place their focus elsewhere.