Aaron Holiday was projected to go in the middle of the first round in the 2018 NBA Draft. That didn’t happen, but the Indiana Pacers couldn’t have been happier. They had targeted Holiday throughout the draft process and were shocked that their guy was available to be taken with the No. 23 overall pick.
CBS Sports certainly looks favorably on the Pacers’ selection of Holiday, giving the team a very favorable grade for their first-round pick with an A-.
“He’s a scorer who can play on or off the ball. He’s a point guard who doesn’t make many mistakes. He’s lightning fast. He’s got two brothers who are solid NBA players. And the Pacers could use a point guard of the future. There’s no losing with this pick.”
Indiana knew that the point guard position needed to be addressed in the NBA Draft. Darren Collison, the team’s starting point guard last season, only has one year left on his deal. Cory Joseph, the Pacers’ backup point guard, only has one year left on his contract as well. That could mean that Holiday has one season to develop into a starting-caliber point guard.
Last season with the UCLA Bruins, Holiday averaged 20.3 points per game to go along with 5.8 assists, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.3 steals. He shot 46.1 percent from the field overall and knocked down 42.9 percent of his three-point attempts. Those numbers are certainly something for Pacers’ fans to get excited about.
Holiday already sounds like he fits in with the Pacers. Indiana is known as a hard-working team that prides itself on togetherness.
Shortly after being drafted, Holiday was asked what Indiana fans should expect from their team’s new rookie.
“Somebody’s who’s going to come in and work hard every day. I’m here to play for my teammates … and I’m really going to pride myself on defense.”
Victor Oladipo is the team’s franchise player and Holiday will fit perfectly with the star shooting guard. He showed off his shooting ability from three-point range last year at UCLA, and Kevin Pritchard believes that he will be an even better catch-and-shoot guy for the Pacers. Indiana believes that Holiday is capable of becoming a very similar player to Collison, which is good news for the Pacers.
All of that being said, the draft couldn’t have gone any better for the Pacers. Holiday may not end up being a superstar, but he has the potential to be a very good starting point guard.
Expect to see the Pacers develop Holiday throughout the 2018-19 NBA season. He likely won’t see a ton of playing time, but head coach Nate McMillan will do everything he can to get the young point guard minutes at different times throughout the year.