As part of WEEI’s coverage of the 2018 NBA Draft here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics have one pick, the 27th overall. The draft will be held on June 21.
Weight: 185 pounds
2017-18 Stats: 20.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 5.8 apg
Scouting Reports: With the one-and-done departure of Lonzo Ball from UCLA last season, Holiday took over as the Bruins’ vital offensive force at the point as a junior. He averaged 37.7 minutes and accumulated 20.3 points per game, 3.7 rebounds per game, and 5.8 assists per game.
Holiday is a threat to score from anywhere on the court. He’s good at changing his speed on the drive, and can mix that with his aggressive scoring mentality. This makes it difficult for defenders to anticipate a pull up three or drive to the basket, both means of scoring that Holiday has shown to be able to execute consistently. The 6-foot guard is an effective finisher for his size, and has shown solid on-ball defense when using his 6-foot-7 wingspan.
Despite being a gifted scorer, scouts have questioned if certain areas of Holiday’s game can translate to the NBA. Shooting, both on and off the ball, is an attribute he can bring to a team immediately and he has shown a good feel for running an offense. But his handle of the ball is inconsistent. Holiday registered a 5.8-3.8 turnover ratio for his junior season, and committed 10 turnovers (three in the final 30 seconds) in a first-round NCAA tournament loss to St. Bonaventure.
Scouts grade the 21-year-old’s first step as good, but not great. They see his lack of speed and athleticism hindering his success in isolation against pros, which is anticipated to diminish his ability to get to the rim. Defensively, Holiday is thought to only have the ability to guard the point, and hasn’t shown that he can consistently close out on a shooter while fighting through a screen.
Notes: Aaron is the younger brother of Bulls guard, Justin Holiday, and Pelicans All-Defensive First Team guard, Jrue Holiday. Aaron was named to both the All-Pac-12 First Team and the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team. The youngest Holiday brother is projected to go between the late first round and early second round. This makes the Celtics a possible landing spot at No. 27 if the team is not intrigued by the remaining big man talent and looking for a plan B point, should Marcus Smart and/or Terry Rozier leave during upcoming free agency.
Based on size, Holiday is a slightly smaller version of Rozier (Holiday is six feet, 185 pounds while Rozier is 6-foot-2, 190 pounds). Skill-wise, Holiday can develop into a player similar to the Spurs’ Patty Mills, a point guard who lacks the athleticism and height to be a full time starter, but is a crafty marksman with the wingspan to play as a serviceable defender in the second unit.
Full article @ 2018 Potential Celtics: UCLA G Aaron Holiday
Source: GreenStreet Blog