NEW ORLEANS, La. – With the New Orleans Pelicans eliminated from playoff contention, the organization has decided to sit out starters, Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and Jrue Holiday.
While the disappointment of the bubble is on Pelicans’ fans’ minds right now, the fact that the team was in a position to make the playoffs serves as a building block heading into next season.
Pelicans Guard Jrue Holiday says, “The future looks bright. [We have]Some very good young talent. I think just building chemistry and continuing to do that is going to be great for us. If we can keep this team together, that would be a benefit for us. I think starting off so young, having a good mixture of vets and young guys, going through what we went through this year with the ups and downs and things that we had to fight through, I felt like built character. It built up a lot of players and gives them a chance to know that we can be really really good if we just stay serious and continue to do what we’re doing.”
Holiday is in year 3 of his 5-year, $131 million deal with the team.
The Pelicans’ primary offseason focus will be adding more quality pieces to their already promising team, and retaining All-Star Forward, Brandon Ingram.
Ingram will be a restricted free agent this offseason.
In today’s pregame press conference, Ingram says that he enjoyed his first season in New Orleans, and considers it hit ‘top choice” in free agency.
Ingram says, “I’ve seen a lot of New Orleans. I’ve been around a lot of good people in the organization, and definitely will be a top choice for me to come back. Of course, it’s going to be a long thought process in the offseason and figuring out where I want to be, but this is definitely a special place with a lot of really, really good people and a lot of genuine people, so I’m enjoying where I am at.”
Ingram stepped into the NBA spotlight as a Pelican, averaging career-highs in points, rebounds, and assists per game.
He was also named a finalist for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award last week.
The Pelicans take on the Sacramento Kings tonight at 8 p.m.
Here is video from today’s shoot-around, featuring some of the younger Pelicans expected to take the floor tonight: