AARON HOLIDAY 2018 NBA Draft Scouting Report
WEIGHT: 185 POUNDS
POSITION: POINT GUARD
PROJECTED DRAFT POSITION: ANYWHERE FROM END OF FIRST ROUND TO PICK NUMBER 40
Aaron Holiday likely wants to remind the world that there are NBA prospects who play guard for UCLA, who are not affiliated with members of a certain headline-dominating family that’s been closely tied to the school as of late.
In fairness, Holiday was absolutely overlooked for much of his previous two seasons at UCLA, both because the team suffered their fourth losing record in more than half a century in his freshman year, and then because of all the hype and hoopla around Lonzo Ball during Holiday’s sophomore year. But while Ball — and fellow star freshman recruit TJ Leaf — garnered all the headlines, Holiday was the “glue guy” whom opposing teams recognized as the real heart of the team, even if he got overlooked by the media and fans.
The younger brother of Jrue and Justin Holiday, Aaron has that craftiness and savvy that his older brother demonstrated, in terms of finding ways to penetrate and get to the hoop. Standing 6-1 (and 190lbs), Holiday has a 6-6 wingspan, meaning he somewhat makes up for his lack of size with a superior wingspan, which allows him to play a little “bigger” than the measurables would otherwise indicate.
Like his siblings, Holiday is not going to blow you away with other-worldly athleticism, but will make his living based on his grit and guile at the position. He is fearless when attacking the rim, and might be at his best when playing “downhill” and/or leading the fast break. When he’s got the ball in his hands, he’s finished almost one-third of his possessions around the hoop over the past two seasons. But he’s got more to his game that just driving with the ball.
Holiday shot 46.1% from the field this past season, and just under 43% from behind the arc. Last season, he almost went for 50% shooting, 40% three-point shooting, and 80% from the free throw line. He had a fearlessness to take the big shots in big moments, and he drained those shots more often than not.
However, NBA teams will have a great deal of hesitation when deciding where to take Holiday, because of his physical and athletic limitations. He’s not an explosive athlete in any real capacity. With his lack of height, he is going to be a defensive liability, especially in situations where teams try to create mismatches on him. He doesn’t have any superior skills to make up, offensively or defensively, for his lack of height.
That’s why it’s likely that Holiday will go in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft, unless some team decides they value his intangibles and production over his perceived shortcomings. It only takes one team to pull the proverbial trigger on taking him, and it’s not like there aren’t comparable players to Holiday currently in the NBA.
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