No. 2 – Justin Holiday
Justin Holiday could be a good replacement for Wesley Matthews for the Milwaukee Bucks. He is a 6-foot-6, 3-and-D wing who is a good defender and can shoot the long ball at a respectable rate (34.1 percent for his career). He is also a good passer and rebounder for his size and is two years younger than Matthews.
Holiday had a solid rest of the season, playing 18 games for the Dallas Mavericks, averaging 4.4 points, 1.8 rebounds, and an assist per game. He shot just 29 percent from 3-point range for them but shot closer to 35 percent when he was with Atlanta at the start of the season.
According to NBA.com/stats, Holiday held opposing guards to just52-of-133 shooting (that’s 39.1 percent efficiency!) as the closest defender. He’s not as switchable as Matthews, though, as he allowed opposing forwards to convert on 55.5 percent of their attempts matched up against him.
Just like his younger brother Jrue, Holiday is a long, athletic defender who is quick to react, has good basketball instincts, and can leverage his size and length to defend multiple positions. He is also a good communicator and is able to help his teammates out on defense, which is a leadership quality the Bucks system prioritizes on that end of the floor. If he can improve his 3-point shooting, he could become a valuable asset to any team looking for a 3-and-D wing player, including the Milwaukee Bucks.
He can be inconsistent at times, though, and is not a great scorer overall. He’s also not a great ball-handler, which means he can’t do much offensively outside of being a catch-and-shoot threat. But ultimately, competent 3-and-D wings are a precious commodity that wins you games, and the Bucks would do well to find solid replacements for their outgoing wings.
Holiday is expected to sign a contract in the $2-5 million range, which would be a good value for the Bucks and relatively in the same range as Matthews’ contract. Perhaps he would be willing to sign for lower to give him a chance to play next to his brother Jrue and compete for a title next to Giannis Antetokounmpo.