Although it remains unclear whether the New York Knicks want to field a competitive team next season or if they would prefer to focus on next year’s NBA Draft, multiple free agents have nonetheless been linked to the club as potential targets. According to SportsNet New York‘s league insider Ian Begley, unrestricted free agent Justin Holiday is one of the players on the Knicks’ radar.
Per Begley’s Friday report, some within the organization’s front office view the 31-year-old as a “player worth pursuing in free agency.”
Holiday, who went undrafted in 2011 and has played for seven different teams since entering the NBA after a year abroad, spent the 2019-20 campaign with the Indiana Pacers. He was a key cog off the bench for the club throughout the season, providing tough defense and outside shooting in the second unit.
As tracked by NBA Stats, he averaged 8.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 25 minutes per game across 73 appearances. He was also one of the association’s better long-range shooters, connecting on nearly 41 percent of his 4.5 three-point attempts per contest. Per the league’s available player tracking, opponents made shots at a rate 4.2 percentage points lower than their norms when Holiday was the closest defender.
In addition to his talents on the court, Holiday could also be on New York’s radar in part because of his history with the franchise, having appeared in 82 games with the Knicks during the 2016-17 campaign.
Meanwhile, Begley pointed to his value as a steadying, veteran presence with experience playing winning basketball. Last season, the Knicks fielded a roster featuring 11 players aged 25 or younger, including multiple core players. After a decade of playing professionally, Holiday could help set an example for the team’s burgeoning star, RJ Barrett, big men Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson, and others.
Still, as a 31-year-old who makes a measurable impact on both ends of the floor, he may be best suited to playing in a bench role for a team with playoff aspirations. That could be the Knicks, especially given their hire of Tom Thibodeau as head coach. SNY‘s sources indicate that there isn’t yet a consensus among teams and agents who have been monitoring the Knicks’ approach this offseason.
In the event that they decide to pursue Holiday in free agency, they’ll have plenty of competition in the pursuit. In October, the Indianapolis Star reported that the Pacers are intent on keeping the brother of former All-Star Jrue Holiday on their roster.
As relayed previously by The Inquisitr, the Knicks may also be interested in defensive specialist Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.