The New Orleans Pelicans’ own version of a “Big Three” will remain intact after coming to terms with starting point guard Jrue Holiday on a five-year deal worth $126 million. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that based on his conversation with Holiday’s agent, Jason Glushon, the deal includes incentive clauses that could push its value to $150 million. The contract also contains a player option for the fifth year.

The Pelicans discovered Holiday’s true value last season when he missed 12 games after attending to his wife, former national soccer player Lauren Holiday, who underwent brain tumor surgery while pregnant. During that span, the Pelicans went 2-10. They went 32-35 with Holiday in the lineup but 2-13 overall without him.

In the coming season, Pelicans fans will see the full potential of their team with Holiday, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins leading the way.

The Pelicans acquired Cousins during February’s trade deadline, giving him just 25 games to familiarize himself with his new team and teammates. During that span, Cousins, Davis and Holiday played just 17 games together, finishing with a 7-10 mark. However, there were noticeable improvements as they became familiar with each other late in the season. The Pelicans finished strong, going 6-4 with the trio together on the floor.

Holiday earned himself a big deal after huge 2016

An eight-year veteran, Holiday averaged 15.4 points and 7.3 assists in 67 games last season. He played his first four years with the Philadelphia 76ers, who signed him to a four-year, $41 million extension in 2012. Two years later, he was traded to the Pelicans for center Nerlens Noel and a first-round selection. In 504 career games, Holiday averaged 14.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 6.2 assists with a 44.1 percent clip from the floor.

Despite Big Three, Pelicans still far from being playoff contender

While they are still far from being playoff contenders, signing Holiday to a long-term deal is a good start for the Pelicans. According to Rod Walker of the New Orleans Advocate, the Pelicans need more pieces to contend with other Western Conference powerhouses, such as the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Rockets recently acquired Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers while the Thunder got coveted small forward Paul George from the Indiana Pacers in separate trade deals.

In addition, the Minnesota Timberwolves are expected to get better after acquiring Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls.

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