Here's a cool story to get your week started off right.
Per Yahoo's Shams Charania, the NBA for the first time will have its green room invitees walk across the stage with two family members prior to the draft.
For UCLA guard Aaron Holiday, his brothers will accompany him.
Aaron, a 6-foot-1 guard, is projected to go off the board sometime late in the first round. It's pretty neat that his brothers will be in attendance, both Justin of the Bulls and Jrue of the Pelicans.
And there's a chance Aaron gets to play with Justin. The Bulls hold the 22nd pick in the first round (ironically from Jrue and the Pelicans) and Scott Phillips has Aaron as one of the five players the Bulls should look at with the 22nd pick.
Aaron Holiday, G, UCLA: This potential pick would already have ties to the Bulls as Aaron's older brother, Justin, is currently on the roster. After three stellar seasons with the Bruins, Aaron is now hoping to become the third Holiday brother in the NBA (brother Jrue is with the Pelicans).
Smaller than his older brothers at 6-foot-1, Aaron makes up for his smaller size at the point with an absurd 6-foot-7.5 wingspan that enables him to play bigger on the defensive end. A talented perimeter shooter who never shot below 41 percent from 3-point range during his three years in Westwood, Holiday has shown that he can run a team on the ball or play as a shooter off of the ball. It should also be pointed out that Holiday was a selfless teammates at UCLA. Opting to come off the bench his sophomore season so Lonzo Ball could start, Holiday was great as both a starter and a sixth man during his college career.
The Bulls value David Nwaba, and apparently a host of other teams do, too.
The news isn't earth-shattering by any means, as it was expected the 25-year-old Nwaba would garner interest in free agency. The second year pro averaged 7.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 70 games for the Bulls, and his hounding defense and ability and desire to defend the opponent's best perimeter player only increased his value.
The Bulls clearly value Nwaba and his numbers after the All-Star break reflected that: he averaged 9.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in 27.1 minutes, and he shot 13 of 33 from beyond the arc (after shooting 5-for-19 in his first 45 games), showing some progress in the expansion of his game.
Perhaps working in the Bulls' favor is that Nwaba's new agent, Briscoe, also represents Bulls guard Justin Holiday and G-League forward Jarell Eddie. That won't be a deciding factor if Nwaba signs an offer sheet with another team and the Bulls are required to match it or not, but if the Bulls do negotiate with Briscoe and Nwaba it should help.
The Bulls will enter this summer with ample cap space to sign Nwaba or match any offer that comes his way. But every player has a price and the Bulls will have to decide what Nwaba's is should he receive and sign an offer sheet from another team.
Next season there will be three Holiday brothers playing in the NBA. Justin is currently a starter for the Bulls, while Jrue is doing big things for the Pelicans in their opening round playoff series against Portland.
Aaron Holiday is a 6-foot-1 point guard coming off a big junior season at UCLA. He was on the court for an incredible 37.7 minutes out of 40 for head coach Steve Alford, averaging 20.3 ppg, 5.8 assists and 3.7 rebounds. Holiday shot .461 from the field and an impressive .429 from three point range.
What Holiday lacks in height, he makes up for with athleticism and competitiveness. The Bruins were overmatched many nights in a strong Pac-12 Conference, but Holiday was able to lead them to an NCAA tournament appearance with his scoring ability and defensive intensity. His ability to drive by an initial defender and get into the lane set up scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. Holiday’s quickness and long range shooting ability should serve him well as he heads to the professional level.
Where does Holiday fit for the Bulls? It seems pretty unlikely the Bulls will draft a point guard this summer, given the fact John Paxson told reporters in his end of the season news conference that Kris Dunn would be the starter at that position with Cameron Payne as the backup. The Bulls also have Jerian Grant under contract for next season and Ryan Arcidiacono could be back on a two-way deal.
Given the fact the NBA has become a point guard driven league, Holiday has a good chance to hear his name called among the top 20 picks. Washington could be a landing spot at 15 since the Wizards have been trying unsuccessfully over the last few seasons to find a consistent backup for John Wall.
It’s very unusual for three brothers to make it to the NBA. The Jones (Caldwell, Charles, Major and Wil), Russells (Campy, Frank and Walker), Barrys (Brent, Jon and Drew) and Plumlees (Mason, Miles and Marshall) are included on the short list of siblings to accomplish that feat.
Next season we’ll be able to add the Holidays to that list, and don’t be surprised if Aaron winds up having a long and productive career like his older brothers.