The Indiana Pacers Select Aaron Holiday
June 21, 2018 - The Pacers' first round pick Aaron Holiday embraces his family after hearing his name announced by Commissioner Silver.
2018 Draft Night
June 21, 2018 - The Pacers' first round pick Aaron Holiday embraces his family after hearing his name announced by Commissioner Silver.
Following the picks of Aaron Holiday in the first round and Alize Johnson in the second, Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard talked about what the Pacers see in both of the selections and what other options were on the table for Indiana.
June 21, 2018 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan speaks with Pacers.com's Wheat Hotchkiss after Indiana selected UCLA point guard Aaron Holiday with the 23rd overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
After being selected with the 23rd pick in the NBA Draft, UCLA point guard Aaron Holiday spoke to reporters in Indianapolis by phone on Thursday night.
June 8, 2018 - After his pre-draft workout, Missouri State's Alize Johnson shared that though he may come from a mid-major, he belongs in the NBA.
June 21, 2018 - Pacers' first round pick Aaron Holiday adorns the Pacers draft day cap and is greeted by Commissioner Silver on stage.
June 21, 2018 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan discusses the Pacers selecting guard Aaron Holiday out of UCLA with the 23rd pick of the 2018 NBA Draft.
June 21, 2018 - Pacers' first round pick, Aaron Holiday, sits down with ESPN's Maria Taylor to talk about learning from his brothers and what he will bring to Indy.
Pacers Take Aaron Holiday, Alize Johnson in 2018 NBA Draft
Editor's Note: As the 2018 NBA Draft unfolded, Pacers.com's Wheat Hotchkiss kept a running blog on this page with updates throughout the night. Re-live Draft Night below.
12:30 AM: That should do it for tonight. Thanks for following along!
Aaron Holiday is scheduled to travel to Indianapolis on Friday and will have a press conference at 2:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. We will stream the press conference live on Pacers.com, the Pacers Facebook page, and in the Pacers app.
12:03 AM: Pritchard also volunteers that he does not know whether starting forward Thaddeus Young will pick up the player option on his contract for next season. Hopes he will stay in Indiana, but expects to be active in free agency either way.
12:00 AM: Pritchard raves about Johnson. "Alize's a bulldog. We've known about him for a couple years. He's a guy that if you told him to go eat glass, he'd say, 'Do you want salt or pepper?'"
Says he is a tremendous rebounder and could be "a junk-yard defender." Does not expect him to play next year, but thinks he can develop with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the NBA G League.
11:58 PM: While he didn't work out in Indianapolis, Holiday interviewed with the Pacers in Chicago. Pritchard also said scouts loved Holiday and pushed hard for him.
11:57 PM: Pritchard imagines Holiday being third-string point guard behind Collison and Cory Joseph next year, but thinks he will press for playing time. Says with both of their other point guards headed to free agency in 2019, it was important to have a long-term point guard on the roster.
11:55 PM: Pritchard says he sees "a lot of similarities" between Aaron Holiday and Darren Collison, most notably speed and shooting.
Said there were a couple chances to move up, but "they just became too cost-prohibitive," so they decided to stay at the 23rd pick and see who fell to them. They were thrilled it was Holiday.
Pritchard sees him as a "potential starter" long-term and thinks he's "a great fit" next to Victor Oladipo because of his prowess as a spot-up shooter.
11:50 PM: We're expecting to hear from Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard shortly. Stay tuned.
11:45 PM: Johnson is a player the Pacers front office has been high on. Not only did they have him in for a workout, they also interviewed him at the combine in Chicago.
11:40 PM: The Pacers take Missouri State forward Alize Johnson with the 50th pick. Here's what I wrote about Johnson after he worked out for the Pacers on June 8:
College basketball fans might not know Johnson, who spent two years at Missouri State after beginning his college career in junior college, but he is definitely on NBA teams' radars.
The 6-8 forward averaged a double-double in both of his seasons with the Bears, including 15 points and 11.6 rebounds as a senior.
For some players, being able to do one thing really well is enough to land you on an NBA roster. Johnson could fit that mold, as he is one of the best rebounders in this year's draft class.
"I just have a knack and a nose for going up and getting rebounds," he said. "It's something that I love to do. I'm just dedicated to going up there and grabbing it every time."
While skeptics might think Johnson's stats were inflated playing against weaker competition in the Missouri Valley Conference, his play at the combine suggests otherwise. Johnson averaged 17 points, 9.5 rebounds, and four assists in Chicago. That performance showed that he could develop into even more than just an energy guy who crashes the boards.
"Getting to play against these high-level guys, it really just shows me that I belong and I'm ready to compete with the best of the best," Johnson said.
11:35 PM: Bates-Diop goes to Minnesota with the 48th pick. Still some solid options, particularly on the wing, for the Pacers at 50.
11:30: We're inching closer to the Pacers' second-round pick, the 50th overall selection. Several players the Pacers worked out are off the board, including Landry Shamet, Džanan Musa, Elie Okobo, Jalen Brunson, and Bruce Brown Jr.
One notable name still on the board with four picks to go: Ohio State forward Keita Bates-Diop. The Big Ten Player of the Year was a projected first-round pick, but has slid until the middle of the second round. If he is still on the board at 50, that would be great value for Indiana.
10:55 PM: Here's just a short list of connections Holiday has to the Pacers and Indianapolis.
He was a teammate of both TJ Leaf and Ike Anigbogu at UCLA for the 2016-17 season.
His brother Jrue Holiday was a teammate of Darren Collison's at UCLA.
Thaddeus Young was teammates with both Jrue and Justin Holiday on the Philadelphia 76ers.
Aaron's sister-in-law and Jrue's wife, Lauren, is an Indianapolis native. After starring at Ben Davis High School and UCLA, she was key member of the United States women's national soccer team, helping lead them to multiple Olympic gold medals (in 2008 and 2012) and a World cup title (in 2015) before retiring at the age of 28.
10:52 PM: Some quick thoughts on the pick. Holiday was a very productive player in college, he comes from a family with a history of success in the league, and he fits a position of long-term need.
None of the three point guards on the current Pacers roster (Darren Collison, Cory Joseph, and Joe Young) are under contract beyond next season. Joseph has elected to pick up his player option for 2018-19, but the Pacers have team options on both Collison and Young's contracts for next season.
10:50 PM: A message from Mr. Holiday himself:
Aaron’s on his way to Indiana!
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) June 22, 2018
10:30 PM: Just finished a one-on-one interview with Nate McMillan that will post on Pacers.com shortly.
One quote from McMillan that stood out: "If he's anything like his two older brothers, he's going to have a solid future. He's going to be a guy that comes to play. Those guys are tough, they're tough-minded, and they compete when they get out on the floor."
10:15 PM: McMillan says he cannot say for certain why Holiday wasn't able to come to Indianapolis for a pre-draft workout. He said the franchise values "the best player available" at the 23rd pick and him not working out here did not factor into the decision.
10:12 PM: More from McMillan: "We're not through with building the roster. We still have free agency coming up and a lot of things are going to be happening in the next week or so, but we got the guy that we wanted."
10:10 PM: Pacers head coach Nate McMillan is meeting with media now. Said Holiday is "a solid guard" and "a two-way player" who will fit in well with the locker room culture in Indiana. Kind of chuckled when mentioning he was "another UCLA guy."
10:05 PM: Here's a quote from Holiday's college coach, Indiana basketball legend Steve Alford: "He's such a driven young man with a burning desire to get better at both ends. It's hard for me to put into words what Aaron meant to our team. He was simply remarkable. I know Aaron is ready to make the jump."
10:00 PM: The Pacers have selected UCLA point guard Aaron Holiday with the 23rd overall pick. Holiday, the brother of current NBA players Jrue and Justin Holiday, averaged 20.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 5.8 assists as a junior for the Bruins while shooting 46.1 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from 3-point range.
Holiday was teammates with two of the Pacers' draft picks from last year, TJ Leaf and Ike Anigbogu, at UCLA. He did not come to Indiana for a pre-draft workout, but that did not deter the front office from selecting him.
9:35 PM: We're inching closer to the Pacers' selection. What can you typically expect from the 23rd overall pick? Somewhat surprisingly, players picked in that slot have turned into dependable rotation players more often than not.
Check out this photo gallery we put together last month for a look at every 23rd pick since 1980: Photo Gallery »
9:20 PM: After two players who a few mock drafts had going to the Pacers (Troy Brown and Zhaire Smith) come off the board, the Milwaukee Bucks take Villanova guard Donte DiVincenzo with the 17th overall pick.
DiVincenzo, the Most Outstanding Player at the 2018 Final Four, is the first player picked tonight who the Pacers had in for a pre-draft workout.
9:00 PM: Porter finally comes off the board, going to Denver with the final pick in the lottery.
Just eight more picks and then the Pacers will be on the clock...
8:45 PM: The big story so far is Michael Porter Jr. sliding down draft boards. We've had 12 picks announced and the 6-11 forward — once considered the favorite to be the top pick in this class — is still on the board.
He missed most of his freshman season at Missouri due to injury and there are concerns about his back, but at a certain point, the potential value of a player of his caliber will be too much to pass up. Will be interesting to see who finally scoops him up.
8:25 PM: The first nine picks have now been announced, with the Knicks taking Kentucky forward Kevin Knox at #9. As Fox Sports 975's Derek Schultz pointed out earlier today, the Pacers have not had a top-nine draft pick since 1989, when they took George McCloud seventh overall.
That stat is a testament to the incredible year-to-year competitiveness of the franchise. To never completely bottom over out over 30 years and enjoy multiple eras of sustained success is a remarkable achievement.
8:10 PM: We've got our first trade announcement! As you likely already knew, the Hawks are sending third overall pick Luka Doncic to Dallas for fifth overall pick Trae Young and a future first-round pick. A fun trade all around with two of the most talented offensive players in this draft class. Will be interesting to see who ends up getting the better of this deal in the long run.
8:00 PM: The Memphis Grizzlies selected Michigan State forward Jaren Jackson Jr. with the fourth overall pick. Jackson spent his high school years in the Hoosier State, teaming with Trevon Blueitt to help lead Park Tudor to two state titles before transferring to La Lumiere School in LaPorte for his senior season.
7:50 PM: As ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting the first trade of the night, here's an important note — working for a team outlet, we cannot comment on or confirm any trades until they are announced by the NBA.
Any potential trades tonight that involve a current NBA player won't even be announced until after the league's July moratorium (which ends on July 6).
7:40 PM: As expected, Arizona center Deandre Ayton is the first overall pick by the Phoenix Suns. The Pacers worked out one of Ayton's college teammates, shooting guard Rawle Alkins, two days ago.
7:30 PM: The draft is finally getting underway, though it will be a couple of hours before the Pacers are on the clock.
Here in Indianapolis, this is the first draft that has been held since the construction of the new St. Vincent Center practice facility. Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard and his staff are all tucked away in the brand-new Draft Room, where they will be discussing their options and fielding calls as the night unfolds.
5:30 PM: Before the draft starts, be sure to check out all content we've cranked out on our Draft Central page. Over the past few weeks, we've done one-on-one interviews with all 29 prospects who took part in a pre-draft workout at the St. Vincent Center, written a slew of stories profiling potential picks, and put together some compelling photo galleries.
4:45 PM: We are planning to have several live streams running tonight during the draft. First up, Pat Boylan and Jeremiah Johnson will be hosting a live draft show from the Pacers season ticket holder Draft Party at Brothers Bar & Grill in downtown Indianapolis. Their show will go live when the draft reaches the 15th pick (approximately 9:00 PM).
We also will stream any and all press conferences at the St. Vincent Center after the Pacers make their selections. You can watch all of the live streams on this page, on the Pacers Facebook page, or in the official Pacers mobile app.
4:30 PM: Happy Draft Night, Pacers fans! After months of anticipation, the 2018 NBA Draft is just three hours away. We'll be updating this page with Pacers-centric draft coverage throughout the night. Check back frequently for photos, videos, quotes, and insight as we learn which players will become the newest members of your Indiana Pacers.
I'll be updating this page as much as possible, so be sure to save a tab in your browser for us while you're watching the Draft telecast and frantically refreshing your Twitter feed. Stay tuned!
2018 Draft Night Press Conferences
Hear from Pacers executives and/or coaches after the Pacers make their picks in the 2018 NBA Draft.