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Aaron Holiday – 6′ 1″ Point Guard, UCLA, 21 Years Old
After completing his junior year at UCLA, Aaron Holiday has declared for the 2018 NBA Draft. Holiday is an athletic, skilled combo guard who can do an abundance of things on the court. Average a career-high in minutes, Holiday posted an impressive stat line at 37.7 minutes, 20.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 1.3 steals per game last season. Holiday’s 20.3 PPG led the Pac-12 in scoring and he was an efficient 42.9 percent from beyond the arc. While he isn’t considered one of the elite point guards from this class, Holiday possesses skills that can translate right away with the right team. He is projected to fall somewhere in the mid to late second round. He would be a suitable backup for a lot of teams right away.
Holiday is an exceptionally quick guard, capable of putting on moves to get past an opponent and attacking the lane. Has shown the ability to finish around the rim with either hand and against heavy traffic. He pushes the ball on the break and has great decision-making skills. Like any good point guard, he has a really good feel for the game. He also balances his scoring and passing very well, always looking to find the open man when need be. Holiday is fantastic at finding open shooters and cutting teammates. As a junior, he was one of the best scorers and shooters in the NCAA. Holiday shot nearly 43 percent from three-point range on 6.2 attempts per game during his junior year. He also knocks his free throws down, shooting a healthy 82 percent from the free throw line.
Holiday can put the ball in the basket from anywhere. He has a solid mid-range game, to go along with his three-point shooting and finishing at the basket. Holiday exerts himself on defense and has the size and lateral ability to stay with other point guards. His durability is quite important, as well. He played in 101 games during his tenure at UCLA and never missed much time.
Although strong for his size, at 6’1”, 185 pounds, Holiday is small for an NBA point guard. He will have to rely on his 6’7.5” wingspan on defense. While having success at the college level at finishing around the rim, Holiday will find it tougher going against the giants of the NBA. As he’s not an above the rim player, Holiday will have to get shots off more quickly at the next level. At times, he was wild on offense and out of control in college. While he can be an excellent passer, Holiday still averaged 3.8 turnovers per game. On defense, he will have to improve at fighting screens and closing out on shooters.
NBA Player Comparison
Holiday is reminiscent of a little less talented version of Mike Conley. He’s a small point guard who can score in numerous ways but also has shown the ability to defend other point guards. Both Conley and Holiday are also exceptional floor generals who like to keep other players involved throughout the game. Although neither player will have a lot of highlight plays, they have a grit and toughness. They both can finish at the basket with either hand and display very good ball handling skills. While Holiday may not be the same level of player that Conley is, he should look to craft his game around Conley’s style of play.