Chicago Bulls: Who Is Justin Holiday?

Feb 21, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Justin Holiday (7) shoots before an NBA game against the Los Angeles Lakers at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 21, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Justin Holiday (7) shoots before an NBA game against the Los Angeles Lakers at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

Now that the Chicago Bulls have traded for Justin Holiday, it’s time to take a look at what he brings to the table.

As somewhat expected, the 2016 NBA Trade Deadline came and went without much action from the Chicago Bulls. After months of various reports regarding the organization wanting to move guys like Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and even Pau Gasol, the front office decided to sit this one out. Well, almost.

The Bulls did give up veteran point guard Kirk Hinrich for young buck Justin Holiday.

In a three-way deal with the Atlanta Hawks and Utah Jazz, Chicago sent Hinrich back over to Atlanta for Holiday, and received a 2018 second round draft pick from Utah.

While many Bulls fans have questioned how much Hinrich has left in his tank for some time now, this trade ultimately left them scratching their heads.

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So, who exactly is Holiday? And how can he help the team moving forward?

The older brother of NBA star Jrue Holiday did not find himself on a traditional path to the league. Instead, the 26-year-old shooting guard/small forward swingman went undrafted in 2011, after playing for the University of Washington Huskies for four years. As a senior, Holiday was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year by Netscouts Basketball.

Ergo, Holiday started his professional basketball career by playing with Okapi Aalstar in Belgium, alongside Chris Copeland. That following summer, he joined the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Summer League, which led to them signing him in October of 2012.

Unfortunately, he was waived later that month and although the Portland Trail Blazers claimed him off of waivers shortly thereafter, he was once again released. In November, he joined the D-League via the Idaho Stampede.

He once more had another shot at entering the NBA when he signed with the Philadelphia 76ers in April 2013. He was dropped yet again, only to be picked up by the Utah Jazz and ultimately waived.

Holiday then went back to Europe and signed with Szolnoki Olaj of Hungary. There, he averaged 12.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in 19 appearances.

In the fall of 2014, the Golden State Warriors picked him up and in a crazy turn of events, after going back to the D-League for some time, he ended up winning a championship with the team when they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers.

And that summer, Holiday finally signed a multi-year contract with the Hawks.

Obviously, Holiday and Hinrich are not on equal footing.

While Holiday has only competed in 94 games over the last five years, Hinrich was drafted seventh overall by Chicago in 2003 and has put in work for 868 matchups with the Bulls, Washington Wizards and Atlanta Hawks. So far over his career, he averages 11.0 points, 4.9 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game.

Then what gives?

Well for starters, Chicago moved $3 million through Hinrich’s salary.

They also brought more youth to the table, which the organization is known for being fond of.

Jimmy Butler is also still slated to be out at least another few weeks. That means the only healthy true shooting guard on the roster is E’Twaun Moore. And although he has definitely proven his worth as of late, the deeper a team is, the better it will be.

Right now, there is no telling how valuable Holiday will be. First off, despite him performing well in Europe and having a championship to his name, we have not seen enough of him in the league yet to be able to actually gage his skill level. But he has had nights like this:

There is also the question of how much of a chance head coach Fred Hoiberg will really give him. As of right now, the Bulls are 29-26 and sitting at the No. 8 seed in the East, so one would hope that Hoiberg is willing to try anything at least once in order to be successful. However, he may opt to play it safe and rely more on Tony Snell.

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Only time will tell if Holiday pans out for the organization or not. At this point though, Chicago needs all the help it can get.