The Dallas Mavericks have signed veteran forward Justin Holiday, after clearing waivers.
Holiday, 33, played for the Atlanta Hawks prior to his acquisition by Dallas. At the trade deadline, he was dealt to the Houston Rockets and promptly released.
Holiday holds career averages of 8.5 points per game, 2.9 rebounds per game, 1.5 assists per game and 24.1 minutes per game over 604 games (285 starts) with Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors , Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Memphis Grizzlies, Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings.
From the start of the 2018-19 season through the end of the 2020-21 season, Holiday saw action in every game (227 total games, 135 starts). He has brings postseason experience as well to Dallas, played in nine playoff games and won an NBA Championship with the Warriors in 2015.
This season, Holiday has averaged 4.5 points on 34.5% shooting from three-point range in 14.7 minutes per game. In Atlanta, the 6’6” wing failed to log a start.
Holiday, however, is just one season removed from averaging 10.1 points on 36.7% shooting from deep in 27 minutes per game with both the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings and logged 65 starts.
As with all buyout candidates, Holiday is not likely to contribute significantly to the team. In Atlanta, Holiday was expected to play a predominant bench role as a three-and-D wing. He, however, quickly lost minutes to a pair of ascending players: AJ Griffin and Jalen Johnson.
For Dallas, Holiday could have a more limited version of this role. Dallas, in acquiring Kyrie Irving, lost wing depth by dealing Dorian Finney-Smith. The trade left Dallas with just Josh Green, Reggie Bullock and Tim Hardaway Jr. as playable wings. Holiday provides solid wing depth and is a competent defender who can also shoot the three at an above-average rate.
Holiday could play between 10-20 minutes and take most, if not all, of the minutes Theo Pinson has been playing, who, since the Irving trade, has played 14.6 minutes per game. Pinson, while a great locker room presence, does not bring the three-point shooting or defense that Holiday brings. Holiday will also be able to absorb some of Green’s, Bullock’s, and Hardaway Jr.’s minutes, as those three have played multiple 40-minute games this season, and it will be important to preserve their endurance for the playoffs.
It is unlikely Holiday will play a predominant role in the playoffs. As playoff rotations are often condensed to eight players, Holiday will likely be on the outside of that group. He does, however, have the ability to play crucial spot minutes if given the right matchup, much like Frank Ntlikina did last year in the series against the Phoenix Suns.
Evaluating the Move
Overall, this signing will not move the needle for Dallas, but it is rare to find a difference-maker on the buyout market. Holiday does not have the offensive ability as fellow buyout candidate Will Barton does nor the defensive ability of Stanley Johnson, yet does provide some offense and some defense.
Ultimately (and hopefully), Holiday factors in as just a deep rotation piece.