Jrue Holiday Working Out for the New York Knicks

Hot Stove New YorkSenior Writer IJune 10, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - MARCH 21:  Jrue Holiday #21 of the UCLA Bruins shoots against Dante Cunningham #33 of the Villanova Wildcats during the second round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Wachovia Center on March 21, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Former UCLA guard Jrue Holiday is working out for the Knicks today in Westchester. Holiday is a 6′3″ combo guard with a long wingspan (6′7″) and a quick first step. He struggled in his freshman season averaging 8.5 points but scouts are high on him like they were about Russel Westrbook.

Westbrook, a former UCLA guard was drafted by Seattle with the fourth overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. Westbrook is also 6′3″ and has a similar wingspan and versatility as Holiday. He had a very good rookie season averaging 15.3 points, 5.3 assists and 4.9 rebounds for the Thunder.

Holiday has the potential to become an exciting pro player. He was named the Gatorade National Boys player of the Year in high school. The California native averaged 25.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 4.4 steals and 2.4 blocks per game during '07-'08. 

Playing point guard he finished high school as the state’s 14th all-time leading scorer. He struggled at UCLA because Head Coach Ben Howland’s system did not fit his skill set. The slow pace limited his possessions and he had to play out of position with Darren Collinson’s role on the team.

However, his ball handling and defensive ability would be very intriguing at the point guard position. The Bruins did not run a lot of zone defense which meant he played man defense most of the time.

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Knicks Head Coach Mike D’Antoni likes his physical tools and high basketball IQ. The 18-year old has a lot of raw talent and should be a lottery pick. However, he needs to shoot the ball better from outside and show the Knicks he has superior athleticism.

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