Justin Holiday

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Central Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the Central Division:

Andre Drummond, Pistons, 26, C (Up) – Signed to a five-year, $127.2MM deal in 2016
With Blake Griffin sidelined, Drummond has delivered a number of energetic and highly productive performances. He was averaging 21.9 points, an NBA-high 18.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.2 blocks and 1.7 steals heading into Friday’s game against Indiana. He’s also displaying greater maturity and reducing the unnecessary fouls, allowing him to stay on the court for longer stretches. In a very weak free agent market, Drummond could be the top prize unless Anthony Davis opts out. Drummond is expected to opt out of the final $28.8MM on his deal.

Denzel Valentine, Bulls, 25, SF (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $9.9MM deal in 2016
Valentine established himself as a rotation player during his second year in the league, appearing in 77 games (37 starts) while averaging 10.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists with an above-average 3-point percentage (38.6). A major ankle injury ended Valentine’s third season before it began. He has struggled thus far to reestablish himself and got sent to the G League this weekend to get some game action. The Bulls can make him a restricted free agent next summer by extending a $4.MM qualifying offer. He’s unlikely to get that unless he reemerges as a second unit fixture.

Justin Holiday, Pacers, 30, SG (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $4.77MM deal in 2019
Holiday is one of those glue guys whose contributions go well beyond the stat sheet. He provides guidance to the team’s younger players and has been the team’s top wing defender in the early going. He can guard multiple positions, which has helped him earned steady minutes (22.1 per game). Holiday hasn’t shot it well (32.7) and he’ll likely lose playing time once Victor Oladipo finally returns from his quad injury. But Holiday might get another contract similar to the one Indiana handed him over the summer if he continues to be a steadying presence.

Sterling Brown, Bucks, 24, SG (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $3.8MM deal in 2017
The 2017 second-round pick averaged 17.8 minutes in 58 games during his second season in the league. Brown has been buried on the bench for the most part this season, racking up several DNP-Coach’s Decisions. His only extended action was a 21-minute outing in a 32-point romp over Orlando at the beginning of the month. Brown’s qualifying offer is just $2MM, so it wouldn’t cost the Bucks much to make him a restricted free agent. However, there’s no real clear path to steady playing time this season unless injuries strike.

John Henson, Cavaliers, 28, PF (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $48MM deal in 2016
Henson’s biggest problem is one that always makes buyers beware — he can’t stay on the court. Henson’s 2018-19 season was essentially a washout due to a wrist injury. The Cavs, who acquired him last December after Henson underwent surgery, were hoping he could earn a spot in John Beilein’s rotation this fall. Instead, he suffered groin and ankle injuries during the preseason. When he finally appeared in a regular-season game, he strained his right hamstring, which is expected to cost him 2-4 weeks. Henson will be an unrestricted free agent next summer and will have to settle for a major pay cut to stay in the league.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Central Notes: Holiday, Billups, Pistons, LaVine

New Pacers guard Justin Holiday was drawn to Indiana as a free agent due to the team’s winning culture and mentality, according to David Woods of the Indianapolis Star.

Holiday, whose brother Aaron Holiday currently plays for the Pacers, agreed to a one-year, $4.8MM deal with Indiana after evaluating interest on the open market. He has mostly played for non-playoff teams in recent seasons, making stops with Philadelphia, Golden State, Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Memphis across his six-year career.

“It had nothing to do with finances at all,” Holiday said, as relayed by Woods. “I literally came here because of the culture of the team, coaching staff, the people in the front office. And my brother – that helps as well.

“This team wins every year. That’s something I want to do, is to be able to win. And also help the team get to the next level because I believe can do that.”

Holiday is expected to provide depth in the backcourt for the Pacers, a franchise that finished with a solid record (48-34) last year despite losing All-Star guard Victor Oladipo to injury. Indiana will be seeking its fifth straight playoff appearance and ninth in the last 10 years this upcoming season.

There’s more from the Central Division tonight:

  • Former Pistons star Chauncey Billups hopes to see the team reach the playoffs again next spring, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press writes. “Continuity can be a good thing, just add some pieces here and there,” Billups said. “I need to see how it all works together, but we’ll see because teams got a lot better. I can’t tell you the Pistons are one of those teams that got a lot better — maybe a little better. Obviously, I’m hoping that the Pistons will jump out there and kick a lot of butt because I’m tired of people talking stuff to me about my Pistons.”
  • New players could allow the Pistons to mix up rotations and try different lineups this season, Rod Beard writes for The Detroit News. The Pistons signed Derrick Rose, Markieff Morris and Tim Frazier to contracts in free agency, also acquiring forward Tony Snell from Milwaukee, claiming Christian Wood off waivers and selecting Sekou Doumbouya at No. 15 in June’s NBA Draft.
  • Former Bulls forward Bobby Portis tweeted his support on Saturday to get Zach LaVine on Team USA for the FIBA World Cup. Portis and LaVine were teammates in Chicago for part of last season and during the 2017/18 season.

Pacers Sign Justin Holiday

JULY 31: The Pacers have signed Holiday, the team confirmed today (via Twitter). Now that the deal is complete, Indiana is officially over the cap.

JULY 19: One of the most notable veteran free agents still on the market has reached a deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), who reports that swingman Justin Holiday is signing a one-year, $4.8MM contract with the Pacers.

Holiday, 30, appeared in 82 total games last season for the Bulls and Grizzlies, averaging 10.5 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 1.5 SPG in 31.8 minutes per contest. With most starting-caliber free agents off the board, Holiday was one of the only veterans left who appeared likely to sign for more than the minimum.

In Indiana, it appears he’ll receive the team’s room exception, which is worth $4.767MM. With Victor Oladipo not expected to be ready for the start of the regular season Holiday should get a chance to play plenty of minutes at the two in the early going.

Even after Oladipo returns, Holiday is on track to play a regular role on the wing for the Pacers, alongside players like newly-added swingman Jeremy Lamb and forwards T.J. Warren and Doug McDermott.

Joining the Pacers will also give Holiday the opportunity to unite with younger brother Aaron Holiday, who should have an increased role in Indiana’s backcourt. It will be the first time since the 2012/13 season, when Justin briefly played with Jrue Holiday in Philadelphia, that two of the Holiday brothers have been on the same roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Central Notes: Horst, Pistons, Kornet, Holidays

Eric Nehm of The Athletic recently sat down with the Bucks’ award-winning GM Jon Horst to discuss the team’s free agency this summer. Here are a few noteworthy passages from Horst’s interview.

Regarding the team’s ability to bring back Khris Middleton on a five-year deal:

“Khris was always a focus… He’s our second superstar, our second star. He’s an All-Star. He’s been one of our best players for a long period of time here… Khris was a target obviously and he got a contract that represents that and we think it’s a great contract because we got our second All-Star locked up for the next five years.”

Regarding the team’s trade of Tony Snell and a first-round pick for Jon Leuer in order to create the requisite cap space needed to re-sign Brook Lopez:

“When we got Brook last offseason, we understood, at some level, how important he was going to be to us… (and) we also understood if he’s as good as we think he’s going to be, it’s going to present a lot of challenges.”

“So, we spent the entire year trying to prepare for that… Just different things we did throughout the year were in preparation to position ourselves to either be prepared to keep Brook, be in a position to keep Brook or be prepared to react if we couldn’t… I don’t know if a lot of people saw it coming, maybe after the Tony Snell deal. Then, maybe they were like, ‘Okay, this is how they’re going to try to do it.’ But before that, I don’t think people saw the moves we lined up to position ourselves to hopefully keep Brook and I’m very thankful we were able to.”

Regarding the decision to trade RFA Malcolm Brogdon to Indiana and whether the luxury tax was a factor in that decision:

“I think there’s a lot that goes into restricted free agency. It’s a monster. Malcolm is very, very important and we knew how important he was to our team. It will be hard to replace him. I think we’ve done the best that we can and we’ll continue to work in ways to be creative and fill that gap.”

“I would say the luxury tax was only part of the consideration for not matching or not being willing to pay Malcolm the market that he was able to get from Indiana. Whether or not he had that market from anywhere else besides Indiana, I don’t know. The decision on Malcolm was much more about our internal evaluations, the roster fit, the ability to be flexible and have options going forward and just building a team that, as I always say, can sustain success over a long period.”

There’s more from the Central Division this afternoon:
  • Horst confirmed in the above interview that the Bucks were not able to create a traded player exception when they traded Brogdon to Indiana, as the signing of George Hill with cap space occurred after the trade, and teams lose their exceptions (other than the Room MLE) when they go under the cap.
  • Taking a look at what each player’s role may be for the Pistons’ during the 2019/20 season, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com opines that there are five guys locked in to being sure-fire rotation pieces – Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard, and Derrick Rose, and three who will almost certainly join that group – Markieff Morris, Tony Snell, and Bruce Brown.
  • The Bulls are hoping that the three-point shooting ability of free-agent addition, big man Luke Kornet, will be a nice complement next to starter Wendell Carter Jr. and fellow reserve, rookie Daniel Gafford, writes Sam Smith of Bulls.com.
  • Pacers’ new addition Justin Holiday is excited about the prospect of playing with his baby brother, reserve point guard Aaron Holiday, reports Scott Agness of The Athletic. “It was the best situation I had at this time,” Justin said. “(T)he Pacers obviously being a contender every year and going to the playoffs, and then also them having my brother was something that was very, very enticing for me. To be able to be a part of that culture and play with my brother, I think it made it pretty simple where I needed to go.”

Grizzlies, Bulls Discussed Kris Dunn, Justin Holiday Swap

The Bulls and Grizzlies have discussed a sign-and-trade for Justin Holiday that would send former top-10 pick Kris Dunn to Memphis, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune hears.

Holiday played for the Bulls last season before the team dealt him to the Grizzlies. Memphis made the December trade hoping to remain in the playoff hunt, surrendering two second-round picks to Chicago as well as Wayne Selden and MarShon Brooks (the wrong Brooks from the failed three-team trade with the Suns).

Chicago has made Dunn available in trade talks after drafting Coby White and acquiring Tomas Satoransky. Three of the team’s offseason goals were to add depth in the frontcourt, bring in point guard competition, and add outside shooting. The first two can be checked off the list.

Shooting on the wing remains on the Bulls’ wish list, Johnson adds. Holiday is a career 34.9% shooter from behind the arc.

Free Agent Rumors: Holiday, Cousins, Burke, More

Free agent swingman Justin Holiday has received interest from the Lakers, Clippers, Bulls, Raptors, Pacers, Wizards, Hornets, and Cavaliers, league sources tell Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Given how quickly most of the top players came off the market, Holiday represents one of the more intriguing options available, given his ability to knock down three-pointers (1.8 3PG on 35.4% shooting over the last three years) and defend on the perimeter.

According to Scotto, the Grizzlies are open to the idea of accommodating a sign-and-trade deal involving Holiday, so a team with interest in him could potentially acquire him using a trade exception if it doesn’t want to cut into its mid-level.

Here’s more on a few NBA free agents:

  • Wizards interim head of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard briefly spoke with free agent big man DeMarcus Cousins in Las Vegas, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post (Twitter link). A previous report indicated there was virtually no chance of Cousins signing with Washington, and Buckner cautions that the conversation was described as small talk, but she still refers to it as an “interesting development.”
  • The Lakers are in the mix for free agent point guard Trey Burke, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link). Los Angeles still has plenty of roster spots to fill, so it’s not clear how high Burke is on the team’s wish list.
  • Veteran NBA big man Darrell Arthur, who sat out last season after being waived by Phoenix in October, is considering a comeback and is open to continuing his career overseas, tweets Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.
  • ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Marc J. Spears, and Ohm Youngmisuk spoke to coaches, scouts, and executives at the Utah and California Summer Leagues to get their thoughts on free agency so far. Among the highlights: McMahon writes that a number of rival executives and scouts believe the Rockets dodged a bullet by not landing Jimmy Butler.
  • The Suns have formally renounced their free agent rights to several players, including Dragan Bender, Jamal Crawford, Jimmer Fredette, and Ray Spalding, per RealGM’s transactions log.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Southwest Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Southwest Division:

Maxi Kleber, 27, Mavericks, PF (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $2.19MM deal in 2017
Kleber has received increased playing time since the blockbuster Kristaps Porzingis deal with the Knicks. He’s averaging 10.2 PPG and 4.8 RPG in 25.7 MPG as a starter this month while making 36% of his 3-point attempts. Kleber would be a restricted free agent if Dallas extends a $1.82MM qualifying offer. With loads of cap space to spare, the Mavs have plenty of incentive to make that modest offer for a rotation player, even though he’d probably move back to the bench next season when Porzingis is ready to play again.

Kenneth Faried, Rockets, 29, PF (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $917K deal in 2019
Clint Capela‘s return from a thumb injury this week will reduce the Manimal’s minutes. He’ll still play a valuable role for Houston, where he has revived his career after getting bought out by Brooklyn. After appearing in just 12 games with the Nets, Faried has averaged 15.7 PPG, 9.9 RPG and 1.0 BPG in 13 outings with the Rockets. It seems Faried has been in the league a long time, but he’s still just 29. In an era of stretch fours and fives, it’s questionable whether anyone views Faried as a starter going forward. He should still get a multi-year deal somewhere as a second-unit difference maker.

Justin Holiday, Grizzlies, 29, SF (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $9MM deal in 2017
Holiday was acquired from the Bulls when the Grizzlies still harbored hopes of making the playoffs. He didn’t move the needle at all before Memphis went into sell mode prior to the trade deadline. He’s averaged 8.2 PPG on 34.8% shooting (29.8% on 3-point tries) in 28.5 MPG with the Grizzlies. Holiday has posted below average PERs throughout his career, which doesn’t help his cause in the analytics era. Holiday has enough of a resume to land on someone’s bench next season but his days as a starter are likely over after this season.

Elfrid Payton, Pelicans, 25, PG (Down) — Signed to a one-year, $3MM deal in 2018
Payton inked a short-term, ‘show me’ contract after the former lottery pick flopped in Orlando and Phoenix. He was given the opportunity to replace free agent Rajon Rondo in the lineup but has spent a majority of the season in the trainer’s room. He’s appeared in just 19 games, with a right ankle sprain sidelining him for the last nine games heading into Friday’s action. The Pelicans lost six of the last eight games that he played. Payton will probably have to settle for another one-year deal this summer, this time in a backup role.

Dante Cunningham, Spurs, 31, SF (Down)– Signed to a one-year, $2.49MM deal in 2018
Cunningham has seen spot duty with the Spurs, averaging 15.9 MPG in 53 appearances. He’s managed to stay in the league for a decade, though he’s usually the No. 5 option at the offensive end. He accepts his limited role and provides some defense, so it’s possible he’ll squeeze out another veteran’s minimum deal with San Antonio or another playoff contender. But being on the wrong side of 30 means he’ll probably have to wait until late in the free agency period for an offer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lowe’s Latest: Rockets, Prince, Blazers, Heat

The Rockets and Cavaliers had discussions about sending Brandon Knight to Cleveland along with a first-round pick in exchange for Alec Burks. However, Zach Lowe of ESPN.com hears that those talks have ceased. Houston has also spoken with the Grizzlies about potential Knight deals.

Cleveland is selling Burks, Rodney Hood, and any other “indispensable asset” prior to the deadline, Lowe writes. The team is willing to take back future salary in exchange for picks.

Houston is expected to scour the market for deals leading up to the deadline with an eye on attaching a future first-rounder to Knight and Marquese Chriss. The Rockets would likely push for lottery protections on any picks that would convey past James Harden‘s prime.

Lowe’s latest piece contains trade nuggets from several teams in the league and we’ve already passed along news from the Grizzlies’ Mike Conley and Marc Gasol sweepstakes as well as the Magic’s pre-deadline plan. Here are the rest of the newsworthy notes from the ESPN piece:

  • The Hawks have made Taurean Prince available in trade talks, sources tell Lowe. Atlanta hasn’t received a ton of traction on Prince deals because of its asking price. The organization wants a young prospect and a pick in exchange for the small forward.
  • The Blazers have put their first-rounder on the table in trade talks, sources tell Lowe. Portland has reached out about Otto Porter Jr.‘s availability, though Wizards owner Ted Leonsis previously announced that the team would not be trading Porter before the deadline.
  • Porter has drawn interest from several teams. In addition to the Blazers, the Mavericks and Jazz have kept an eye on the situation. Dallas was interested in swapping Harrison Barnes for Porter prior to the Kristaps Porzingis trade.
  • Miami appears to be willing to move anyone but Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson and Bam Adebayo for cap relief. Lowe expects the Heat to try to get at least a second-round pick for Wayne Ellington.
  • Lowe confirms a previous report that JaMychal Green, Justin Holiday, and Garrett Temple are all available. Holiday, who was acquired from the Bulls earlier this year, cost the Grizzlies two second-round picks.
  • The Kings have approximately $11MM in cap space available and they want to use it to pick up an asset. Lowe writes that it could be a draft pick or a player who will help them win this season.
  • Sacramento is willing to engage in trade talks about Willie Cauley-Stein, who will be a restricted free agent this summer. The Kings may simply let the center walk should he receive too high of an offer this offseason.
  • The Bulls are expected to listen to offers for anyone but Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter. Lowe doesn’t expect Chicago to deal either Kris Dunn or Zach LaVine though, as the team’s asking price is anticipated to be too high.
  • The Nuggets own a pair of trade exceptions and have slightly less than $7MM in breathing room under the tax. They are open to taking on a salary dump if another team calls and has to shed a player in that price range.

Grizzlies Notes: Caboclo, Holiday, Gasol

While the Grizzlies are in agreement with Bruno Caboclo on a 10-day contract, that deal won’t be finalized today, according to Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian, who tweets that the signing might be done in time for Caboclo to play for Memphis in Wednesday’s game vs. Charlotte.

Once the deal is done, it will leave the Grizzlies with $377,860 in breathing room below the luxury tax threshold, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). If they want to avoid being a taxpayer, the Grizzlies will have to stagger their 10-day signings for the rest of the season, Marks notes. Of course, trimming a bit of salary in a pre-deadline trade could also create the flexibility necessary for Memphis to fill that final spot on its 15-man roster going forward.

Here’s more on the Grizzlies:

  • Justin Holiday, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, has seen his production fall off significantly since he was traded from Chicago to Memphis, as he’s averaging just 5.1 PPG on .265/.182/.917 shooting in eight games with the Grizzlies. David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal explores why Holiday’s transition hasn’t gone smoothly and how his new club will look to get him back on track.
  • There’s still no indication that the Grizzlies are seriously considering the idea of shopping Marc Gasol before next month’s trade deadline, but Frank Urbina of HoopsHype identifies four teams that could be fits if that stance changes. The Hornets, Wizards, Clippers, and Kings all make some sense, in Urbina’s view.
  • After being waived last week by the Grizzlies, Jarnell Stokes has rejoined the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the G League, tweets JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors. Stokes was on a two-way contract with Memphis and will be a candidate for a 10-day contract during the second half of the 2018/19 season.

Bulls Notes: Parker, Boylen, Portis, Holiday

After getting a rare chance to play Saturday night, Jabari Parker told Mike Sorensen of The Deseret News that he has thought about coming to Utah as a way out of his current situation in Chicago. Parker already has strong ties to the area, owning a house near Salt Lake City. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and considered playing at BYU before going to Duke.

“Yeah, I have. I already have a home here, and I visit here frequently,” Parker responded when asked if he has thought of joining the Jazz.

There’s been no recent indication that Utah is interested in acquiring Parker and his $20MM salary, though a mid-December report linked the two sides. Parker was sent to the end of the Bulls’ bench when coach Jim Boylen took over, reportedly because of poor defense and attitude issues. Injuries gave him a chance on Saturday and he responded with 11 points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes.

“It’s nothing that can be explained, just his gut feeling,” Parker said of Boylen’s decision to bench him. “I’ve just got to respect that. He’s the head coach, but I also want to do what’s best for me. Hopefully I can get somewhere where I can show my talent, and I can be treated accordingly, too.”

There’s more this morning from Chicago:

  • Boylen only has a $1MM guarantee for next year on his new contract, according to an ESPN report, giving the organization some flexibility if it decides to go in a different direction. The new arrangement, which Boylen negotiated himself, will pay him $1.6MM this season, twice what he was getting as associate head coach under Fred Hoiberg. He will receive another $1.6MM if he lasts all of next season. “The Bulls have been very gracious to me and very supportive,” Boylen told Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. “… They’re fair and honest and direct, and I respond to that well.” (Twitter link)
  • Bobby Portis believes he has a reputation as a villain after last year’s fight with Nikola Mirotic, relays Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Portis claims referees have treated him differently since the skirmish, citing a play on Friday in which he alleges that the Warriors’ Kevin Durant grabbed his arm in an attempt to injure him. “I have that negative put on me like I’m a bad guy,’’ Portis said. “Obviously, everything is officiated differently towards me. You don’t care about that but it’s just what I made it cause of that incident last year. Everybody thinks I’m this bad guy when really I’m a really good dude. Image is everything, and I guess that’s what my image is.”
  • Last week’s trade of Justin Holiday left a vacancy on the Bulls’ new leadership committee, Cowley tweets, adding that Kris Dunn is most likely to be appointed.