Dallas Mavericks free agency grade: Sign Justin Holiday in buyout market

Dallas Mavericks, Justin Holiday
Dallas Mavericks, Justin Holiday / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks are reportedly signing Justin Holiday to fill their wing need, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst. Mavs General manager and president of basketball operations Nico Harrison made it clear that the team wanted another wing (subscription required) on the buyout market after pulling off the blockbuster trade for Kyrie Irving.

The Mavericks traded away Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie to land Kyrie. Josh Green has taken Doe-Doe’s place in the starting five, and he is taking another step forward, but Dallas still needed a bench wing to fill the minutes. Theo Pinson, Jaden Hardy, and Frank Ntilikina have been pressed into action in recent games off the bench, but the Mavericks wanted a more stable option.

The Mavs will be Holiday’s tenth NBA team in ten seasons, but he did win the championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2015. The 33-year-old has seen it all in the NBA, and he is a proven rotation piece. Here is a look at his fit on the Mavericks and a grade for this signing.

Dallas Mavericks free agency grade: Sign Justin Holiday in the buyout market

Dallas wanted another steady 3-and-D wing. Someone that could knock down open shots and play stout defense on the perimeter. Holiday is 6’6 and no stranger to guarding any player on the floor. Fans should not expect too much, but he is capable of playing 15 to 25 minutes per game and making a significant impact even if his boxscore stats do not jump off the screen.

Holiday averaged 4.5 points in 14.7 minutes per game over 28 contests for the Hawks this season before being traded to the Houston Rockets in a deadline day deal. The 33-year-old had no interest in playing for the rebuilding Rockets, so he secured a buyout. Last season, he averaged 10.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 27.8 minutes per game split between the Kings and Pacers.

Dallas Mavericks free agency grade: B-plus

Holiday is not the flashiest signing on the buyout market, but he is arguably the best fit for what the Mavericks needed. Terrence Ross appeared close to joining the Mavericks before the Suns jumped in at the final moment to sign him. Holiday is arguably a better fit in Dallas, despite not being the same type of scorer as Ross.

Justin Holiday will come off the bench, and he could even be a DNP-CD in some matchups. The Dallas Mavericks view him as an upgrade over Frank Ntilikina and Theo Pinson, which should earn him consistent minutes in the second unit.

The Mavericks will have to waive Chris Silva from his ten-day contract to sign Holiday. That move will fill the team’s final roster spot. The only way Dallas could add another player would be by releasing someone on a guaranteed contract. The Mavs have until March 1 for the player to be playoff eligible, but Dallas likely set their roster with this addition.

The Dallas Mavericks have arguably the best scoring duo in the league, and they will have an elite offense. Dallas is hoping the Justin Holiday signing and Maxi Kleber returning from injury after the All-Star break can improve their defense enough to make a deep playoff run. Stay tuned to see if that works out.

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