Spurs Prospect Watch: Aaron Holiday

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NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 23: Aaron Holiday #3 of the UCLA Bruins drives against Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #22 of the Kentucky Wildcats during the first half of the CBS Sports Classic at the Smoothie King Center on December 23, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

The San Antonio Spurs are starting to pick up some steam, and should reach the 5-win plateau yet again. That means another low draft pick should be on the way and the Spurs will have some scouting to do.

That brings us to this week’s prospect watch and it is UCLA point guard Aaron Holiday. He stands 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds and is the key to the high octane Bruin offense that averages a shade over 83 points a game.

Here are some his stats so far this season:

  • 19.4 PPG, 5.3  APG, 4.0 RPG
  • 46.8 FG%, 37.9 3P%
  • 114.8 ORtg, 104 DRtg
    • Per-40 stats:
      • 21.1 PPG, 5.7 APG, 4.3 RPG

Holiday is a high usage point guard for the Bruins — he uses about a quarter of the team’s possessions when he’s on the court  — and is pretty much the reason the offense is humming to the tune of 85.6 points per game. He obviously has a knack for finding open teammates, but because he’s handling the ball so much he also has more turnovers in his junior season than he did in his previous two with 3.4 a game.

However, Holiday leaves a bit to be desired on the defensive end as he has a triple-digit defensive rating, which means opponents are scoring more than a point per possession against him when he’s the primary defender. That will have to be remedied as he will have to prove he can defend at even a decent level if he wants a look from the Spurs. Part of his poor defense might be that he’s a bit undersized to play the position — at least in the NBA — and that could spell certain doom in the league.

He can definitely be a guy the Spurs might look to steal in the second round of this year’s draft as he would be a huge gamble with their first pick, but since the second pick would be so late, he would fall into the “steal” range for them. Granted, this is mostly a move the Spurs make if they intend to move on from Dejounte Murray or Derrick White despite so few years of experience between them.

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