Can Aaron Holiday Continue The Family Business?
This piece does not reflect the views of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Junior, G, UCLA
College Stats in 2017-18:
33 games, 20.3 PPG, 5.8 APG, 3.7 RPG, 46.1 FG%, 42.9 3P%, 82.8 FT%
Pac-12 All Defensive Team
Where he’ll go:
Holiday is projected to be a late first-round pick.
Talk about some pressure at family functions.
Aaron Holiday is going to get drafted later this month and will join his brothers Jrue and Justin in the NBA.
Jrue is one of the best point guards in the NBA and just wrapped up an All-Star caliber season with the Pelicans. Justin, on the other hand, has had to scrap his way into the league after being undrafted in 2011, but started 72 games last season with the Chicago Bulls.
Aaron is more Jrue, who also attended UCLA, than Justin. But he can take something from both of them on his journey to the NBA.
“Just watching them play, obviously, it just shows me so much,” Holiday said. “What Justin went through and what Jrue went through. I pretty much know how to get to the league and how to stay in there. And the tough things that are going to happen when I get there.”
Holiday averaged 20.3 points per game as a junior and added career highs of 5.8 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 42.9 percent from the 3-point line. He’s a point guard, but he can flat-out score. He scored 30 or more points in four games over big-time opponents like USC and Stanford. He also hit the 20-point mark 19 times, including 20 points and eight assists in a win over Kentucky on Dec. 23.
“I just tried to come out and play every game,” Holiday said. “I felt like I was the best player on my team and to win, I feel like I had to play at my best, so that’s all I tried to do.”
Holiday has the family ties (which do nothing but help him throughout this process), but also has the skill. He’s fast and has a very strong upper body which allows him to take contact at the rim. Holiday does a good job of pushing the ball and showed in his junior season that he’s a very good shooter. With Holiday, you’ll never question his effort or drive, which can sometimes be half the battle with some of these prospects.
One concern with Holiday are his true point-guard skills. His size (6-1, 190 pounds) will likely put him at point guard in most situations, although we saw in his sophomore year he was able to play off the ball with Lonzo Ball. When he’s at point guard, he can be a bit turnover prone and doesn’t always make the best decisions. His 5.8/3.8 assist to turnover ratio leaves much to be desired. For example, the season before, Ball had a 7.6/2.5 assist to turnover ratio. Then again, Ball isn’t and wasn’t the scorer that Holiday is and will likely develop into.
I would imagine it helps Holiday in a big way that his brothers are both highly-respected in NBA circles. By all accounts, it sounds as if the younger brother has those high-character personality traits as well.
Holiday has all the tools, on and off the court, the be an NBA player for the next 10-plus years.