Philadelphia 76ers Strike Gold with Jrue Holiday Contract Extension

Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistNovember 1, 2012

Oct 21, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday (11) dribbles the ball against the Boston Celtics during the second half at TD Garden.  Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

When you're right, you're right and the Philadelphia 76ers were wise to extend the star-esque services of Jrue Holiday.

According to Sam Amick of USA Today, the Sixers and Holiday reached an agreement worth more than $41 million, one that Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD later confirmed was for four years.

The base of Jrue Holiday's deal with Philly is $41 million, source says, but minor incentives can and likely will take it to $46 million.

— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) November 1, 2012

If you're Holiday, you're thrilled at the prospect of not only lining your pockets, but four years of job security.

And if you're the Sixers, you're downright jubilant that the you were able to retain a prolific talent at such a modest price.

Not only have the point guard's stat lines improved almost every year like clockwork, but he was second on the team in scoring with 13.5 points per game last season. Come postseason time, he upped the ante even more, leading the team in assists, steals and three-point shooting percentage.

What playoff-bound team has a multi-faceted talent capable of carrying the team offensively and being the primary offensive option due less than $12 million annually heading into his prime?

Just the Sixers.

Philadelphia got a bargain in Holiday; it struck contractual gold.

At 22, he is in just his fourth NBA season and has already proven to have superstar-level potency.

He's someone who can both run the offense and play off the ball, someone quick and smart enough to play suffocating perimeter defense and someone talented enough to lead—both statistically and psychologically—a playoff-worthy cause.

Yes, Andrew Bynum has become the instant face of the Sixers, but in his absence, there is Holiday, the youthful prodigy who is anything but overrated.

And he proved as much immediately after inking this extension.

Holiday has already led the Bynum-less Sixers to an impressive victory over the Denver Nuggets, a presumed title contender.

Did he score just 14 points on an underwhelming 5-of-16 from the field in that victory?

Yes, but when he couldn't impact the game with his shooting, he turned to his strengths as a distributor and defender, dropping 11 dimes and forcing two steals.

That's just the thing about Holiday. He's not always going to score 25 points or shoot 50 percent from the field.

But he will leave a lasting positive imprint on the game.

If his shot isn't falling, he'll defer to his teammates. If their shots aren't falling, he'll lead the defensive charge as well.

There's always something he can do; you take away one aspect of his skill set and he'll just utilize another one.

And his ability to do so has become even more important in Bynum's absence.

He has emerged as a deserving No. 2, someone who will have no trouble assuming the duties of a primary pillar when called upon—someone who will greatly complement a higher-caliber superstar.

Which is huge, because not only is Bynum's return to the lineup uncertain, his future in Philadelphia hangs in the balance.

Obviously the Sixers would like to throw a nine-figure contract the way of a proven All-Star, a championship-worthy leader, but they don't know if that's what they have in Bynum.

As talented as he is, we cannot forget that he has been the poster-child for inconsistency for the better part of a decade and that includes the state of his knees.

What if Bynum cannot regain his form after waging yet another battle against his knees? What if he can't return at all? What if he's not worth the money the Sixers want to pay him?

What then?

Well, now Philadelphia has a contingency plan.

Holiday is more than a complementary piece—though he would pair nicely with Bynum. He's someone the team can continue to build around if Bynum doesn't pan out.

He's someone who serves as a well of certainty in an uncertain time.

Most importantly, though, he's someone who instills hope in a fluctuating, borderline confused, franchise—with or without Bynum.