The Los Angeles Lakers are still playing the waiting game for Kawhi Leonard, but signings can still happen around the peripherals on the roster, and the team still doesn’t currently employ a professional shooting guard. In steps Justin Holiday, potentially — but it appears the Lakers have competition for his services.
Michael Scotto of The Athletic listed basically a quarter of the league as teams interested in Holiday, who split last season spending time with the Chicago Bulls and Memphis Grizzlies:
Free agent Justin Holiday is considering interest from several teams including the Lakers, Clippers, Bulls, Raptors, Pacers, Wizards, Hornets and Cavaliers, league sources told @TheAthleticNBA. Memphis is open to a sign-and-trade with him.— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) July 4, 2019
Justin, 30, is the oldest of the three Holiday brothers (Jrue is 29; Aaron, 22). They’re basically what LaVar wishes the Ball brothers could’ve been.
Holiday is a career 34.9 percent three-point shooter, which makes him a logical target for the Lakers based on their other signings thus far (both Troy Daniels and Jared Dudley signal that they’re in the market for shooters). Holiday has averaged as many as 12.2 points per game and averaged 9.5 last season in his time with Chicago and Memphis.
Holiday is a solid enough defender, too, so when you add all this up it makes sense that so many teams would be in on him.
It’s probably going to come down to which team offers Holiday the greatest role and/or most money. Entering his year-30 season, he’s going to be looking to find a spot in the rotation that can earn him further chances in the NBA. The Lakers might hold the upper hand in that regard right now, though things can and will change after Leonard’s decision.
If he signs with the Lakers, that likely means the team is out on Danny Green, but Kentavious Caldwell-Pope might take the room exception at Holiday’s position. And if Leonard doesn’t come, the Lakers would likely try to sign Danny Green, who would command an even bigger role in the rotation at Holiday’s position.
Either scenario would still leave room for Holiday to get minutes, but given the number of teams also interested in him, he might opt for a situation with more guaranteed playing time.
Money also is obviously going to probably be the deciding factor. All the Lakers can offer is the veteran’s minimum — at least until they figure out what’s going on with Leonard. If a team offers more before Leonard signs anywhere, the Lakers probably wouldn’t figure into the equation at all.
Holiday fits needs and would be a welcomed addition no matter what role he plays. There are just much larger dominos that have to fall before the Lakers can look seriously in his direction.
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