Aaron Holiday NBA Draft 2018: Scouting Report for Indiana Pacers' Pick

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterJune 22, 2018

FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2018, file photo, UCLA guard Aaron Holiday (3) brings the ball up court during the first half during an NCAA college basketball game against Utah in Salt Lake City. Holiday was selected to the AP All-Pac-12 team on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

The Indiana Pacers have selected Aaron Holiday in the 2018 NBA draft with the No. 23 overall pick.

Stepping in to replace Lonzo Ball as UCLA's lead guard, Holiday averaged 20.3 points and 5.8 assists per game, emerging as one of the country's most potent scoring playmakers. He's on track to become the NBA's third Holiday, following in the footsteps of his brothers Jrue and Justin.

        

Quick hitters

Size: 6'0 ¾"

Weight: 187 pounds

Wingspan: 6'7 ½"

Reach: 8'1"

Pro-player comparison: Yogi Ferrell

         

Offensive strengths

A well-rounded guard, Holiday will run the point, but he also plays off the ball, as 23.6 percent of his offense came out of spot-ups. On those possessions, he ranked in the 84th percentile and shot an astounding 52.5 percent on no-dribble jumpers. Last season marked his third consecutive year shooting at least 41.0 percent from three. On the ball, he's best as a pick-and-roll scorer (71st percentile). He made 22 of 50 floaters. He can create with the ball and therefore set teammates up, though he'll be more of a scorer than a facilitator in the pros.

         

Offensive weaknesses

Holiday measured under 6'1" in shoes, and he doesn't explode around the rim, where he shot 54.6 percent. He doesn't have the best feel facilitating for teammates, grading in the 55th percentile as a pick-and-roll passer and 27 percentile passing out of isolation. He turned the ball over 3.8 times per game. Holiday shoots it well from three, but not so much from two. Overall, he was 7-of-24 from 17 feet to the arc and 7-of-28 inside 17 feet.

          

Defensive outlook

Holiday can get low and right up into opposing ball-handlers. He has a strong foundation and good length for a point guard. He'll only be able to guard one position, but Holiday could be tough to shake, both in isolation and the pick-and-roll game. He competes, and he's averaged at least a steal per game in every season at UCLA.

        

Rookie-year projection

Coaches can count on Holiday to give them minutes right away. He'll be 22 years old in September, ready to come in and make shots, handle the ball for a second unit and apply defensive pressure. He'll be more effective at scoring than distributing. His fearless approach should help during the transition, though it could also lead to some inefficient play.

          

Projected role: Bench spark/Low-end starter 

Holiday lacks the playmaking instincts to be a full-time starting point guard, and his average size and athleticism suggest his ceiling only goes so high. However, his shooting, confident scoring and toughness bode well for his chances of sticking and carving out a regular role, even if it's coming off the bench.

          

Stats courtesy of Sports Reference and Synergy SportsMeasurements courtesy of the 2018 NBA Draft Combine.

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