UPDATE, 8/13, 11:15 a.m. PT: The Los Angeles Lakers have announced the signing of Jonathan Holmes to a multi-year contract, though full details on the deal are still unavailable.
The Los Angeles Lakers have signed undrafted rookie Jonathan Holmes to a pact that is a "significant partial" guaranteed contract, reports Shams Charania of Real GM. Holmes played with the Boston Celtics through Summer League, averaging 10 points and five rebounds in 20.1 minutes per game.
Details of the contract are unclear. The Lakers have been mulling their options with the final roster slot, and still have training camp invites and preseason to push through. Without the terms, it's hard to say what this deal means for Los Angeles, or the 6'9 forward out of Texas.
Holmes spent most of his time playing small forward for the Longhorns, but has the frame, strength and skill set to play as a small ball power forward. His ability to stretch the floor was on display throughout his Summer League play with Boston as he shot 44.6 percent from three-point range on 3.5 attempts per game. A shooter who can fill either forward position and function as a pick-and-pop threat, like he showed in Las Vegas:
... is definitely worth the Lakers' time. He was a four-year player with Texas, proving to be a versatile talent who played in 127 games through his college career. Him going undrafted was surprising to Burnt Orange Nation's Cody Daniel, who had this to say after draft night:
Once the second round began, I was sure that with each pick that passed, Holmes had a pretty solid chance of hearing his name called. A few teams, such as the Washington Wizards, had their team need highlighted as a stretch forward during the second round, which has been widely regarded as the role Holmes will fill in the NBA with his ability to play both forward roles and contribute in a multitude of ways, both inside and out, but passed on the former Longhorn. Considering the NBA is now seen as shifting towards the small-ball formula with smaller lineups and versatile forwards after the Golden State Warriors rode that formula to an NBA championship, along with Holmes' NBA comparisons being to Golden State's Draymond Green, it makes Holmes going undrafted even more surprising.
It's a sensible signing from a skill set and team need standpoint, with the bigger question being what the contract terms are. The Lakers were reportedly interested in acquiring additional help at point guard, and also were said to have a contract in place for big man Robert Upshaw. Even if the team doesn't plan on locking up Upshaw, it'd be an interesting decision if they closed out their final roster spot before going through training camp. Los Angeles had a close look at Holmes during their pre-draft process.
Considering his performance through Summer League, and the big sample size he left behind at Texas, there's reason to believe Holmes could develop into a perimeter threat. Here's a look at his shot chart from last seaon, via Shot Analytics:
He should be considered a development piece until proven otherwise like any other undrafted player, but if his three-point shooting can translate to the NBA and he can defend as a tweener forward, he could find a place in the league. Even if we don't know what kind of deal is in place, the Lakers appear to be the next team to give him an opportunity.