For the second straight offseason, the Atlanta Hawks are looking to former Golden State Warriors wings for help.
The Hawks reportedly agreed to a deal with Warriors reserve guard Justin Holiday on Wednesday, according to Yahoo! Sports. The deal can not be finalized until the league lifts its free-agent moratorium on Thursday.
The specifics of the contract have not been released as the team will likely need to jump through some financial hoops once the league releases its salary cap numbers — the AJC’s Chris Vivlamore reports it’s a guaranteed two-year deal — but Holiday looks to be another affordable "3-and-D" candidate for a Hawks franchise constantly on the lookout for developmental prizes. With the team’s biggest reclamation project of the Mike Budenholzer era — 2013 free-agent signing DeMarre Carroll — taking a reported $60 million deal with Toronto, the franchise was in need of wing help this offseason.
The 6-foot-6 Holiday provides an intriguing piece to Budenholzer’s bench.
Playing 59 games for the NBA champs last season, including four starts, the former undrafted guard shot 32.1 percent from the outside while playing respectable defense. He averaged 4.3 points and 1.2 rebounds per game, but did not log any playoff minutes. A little-used reserve on the league’s deepest bench, the 26-year-old boasts little NBA game experience or notable individual numbers, but the Hawks obviously see potential — especially with little salary-cap room to work with.
The Hawks stockpiled their frontcourt during the early frenzy of free agency, bringing back two-time All-Star Paul Millsap and adding Spurs big man Tiago Splitter. Those two names will join a frontcourt that, at the moment, includes All-Star Al Horford, reserve Mike Muscala and 7-foot-3 rookie Edy Tavares.
However, wing depth remained an issue. Projected starters Kyle Korver and Thabo Sefolosha are both recovering from offseason surgery, or surgeries, while reserves Kent Bazemore and newly acquired Tim Hardway Jr. are not the surest bets. While the Hawks trust their development program and coaches, a signing like Holiday was always going to be in the cards.
The Hawks signed Bazemore, another former Warriors (and Lakers) guard, during last offseason’s free agency period. He ended up starting multiple playoff games for the Eastern Conference finalists.
Holiday, the younger brother of Pelicans starter Jrue Holiday, played his college ball at Washington, where he improved his shooting and efficiency numbers year after year. That development carried over into the pros, where he improved dramatically between his rookie outings with the Philadelphia 76ers and his second-year contributions to Steve Kerr’s Warriors team.