The Atlanta Hawks have struggled to generate quality play at the point guard position throughout Trae Young’s career when he has been off the floor. Each season seemingly the club is looking around midseason for a quality backup point option. This offseason, the Hawks made multiple moves to help patch up the non-Young minutes. One of those moves was obviously the trade with San Antonio for Dejounte Murray, while the other was the signing of veteran guard Aaron Holiday.
Despite being the size of a traditional point guard, Holiday is actually perhaps suited better off the ball offensively, at least primarily, which should make him a good fit to play with with either Murray or Young. He’s a solid catch-and-shoot option, and doesn’t command a ton of usage by any stretch. He should be malleable to almost any lineup the Hawks want to toss him into, as long as there are other ball handlers on the floor with him. He does struggle a bit to create offense for himself or others, so naturally he’s best suited alongside other players who do create offense.
For his career, Holiday is a 37.3% three-point shooter, and he played quality, legitimate minutes for the Phoenix Suns down the stretch last season while they battled injuries in the backcourt. As far as third guard options are concerned, there are certainly worse options than Holiday. If and when the Hawks need him to expand his role due to injuries or foul trouble, he is capable of holding his own and helping the team continue to succeed.
Defensively, Holiday brings a good bit to the table and he will be extremely useful on the ball in certain matchups vs. elite offensive guards. How much Holiday plays when the Hawks are at full strength remains to be seen, but with Bogdan Bogdanovic potentially limited to start the season, he may pick up additional minutes out of the gates. Holiday is one of several defensive minded players Atlanta brought in this offseason in an effort to improve on that end of the floor.
With Atlanta having the luxury of having two players capable of playing the point at such a high level in Murray and Young, there could possibly be stretches of the season when the team doesn’t need a ton of minutes from Holiday. It’s also worth noting that Nate McMillan and Holiday have a couple of years together going back to their days with the Indiana Pacers, so this was a logical move on all sides. Holiday will be in a similar role to the one he played on the Suns last postseason once Phoenix got healthy, while the Hawks’ staff has a dependable depth option in the backcourt who is already familiar with the schemes.
While this wasn’t the most exciting move of the offseason, the addition of Holiday will be valuable. In the event of injury, he could end up being a very valuable piece for a chunk of the season the way he was for the Suns down the stretch last season.
Stay tuned as the rest of our Hawks player preview series continues to roll out over the next several days.