AP Source: Pelicans, Holiday, to meet when free agency opens

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Guard Jrue Holiday and the New Orleans Pelicans have scheduled a meeting for midnight Friday when NBA free-agency begins, a person familiar with the situation said.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because the Pelicans and Holiday, who is an unrestricted free agent, have not publicly disclosed their plans.

The meeting was first reported by Yahoo Sports.

The 27-year-old Holiday has spent the past four seasons with New Orleans since being acquired in a trade with Philadelphia, where he spent his first four seasons. Because Holiday last played for New Orleans, NBA rules allow the Pelicans to offer him a five-year contract, one year more than other teams.

Holiday averaged 15.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 67 games last season.

Re-signing Holiday ''is our priority. Make no mistake about it,'' Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said after last season ended.

Holiday is coming off just his first healthy season with the club after missing most of his first two and parts of his third. However, he took leave last fall when his wife, former U.S. Soccer star Lauren Holiday, was diagnosed with a brain tumor while pregnant.

Holiday has avoided questions about his plans for free agency, but the Pelicans made it clear they want him back and hope the support they provided while he was on leave.

If New Orleans can retain him, Holiday will help drive an offense featuring the All-Star front-court tandem of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.

Cousins joined New Orleans in a trade just after last season's All-Star game, but was playing in a new system with a sore Achilles and the club was unable to mount a successful playoff push.

However, Gentry has expressed hope that if Holiday can be retained and have an entire training camp of work with Davis and Cousins, the trio can be far more formidable next season and put New Orleans in position to contend for a first playoff berth since 2015.

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For more AP NBA coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

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For more AP NBA coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

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