Update, Sunday July 2, 10:20PM EST: Justin Holiday has agreed to a two year deal with the Bulls, according to Shams Charania. See below for analysis as to why the Knicks should have made a better effort to retain his services.
The Knicks appear to be taking things slowly, waiting until they hire an executive to really make a serious go at substantial free agents. But with an in-person David Griffin interview reportedly not happening for a few weeks, there doesn’t appear to be much urgency there either.
Opting not to spend big bucks after doing so last summer is probably the right way to go. Holiday should still be rewarded for his breakout year. Embracing a prominent NBA role for the first time in his career, the swingman averaged 7.7 points with a 43/36/82 shooting clip for the campaign. He was the only Knick to appear in all 82 games.
Going forth with a youth movement is undoubtedly the best form of action for the Knicks at this point. Going young is a great way to tap into promising player development, and Holiday still fits into that respective vision. Though he’s 28 years old, Holiday only just completed his fourth NBA season and never played in more than 59 games in each of his previous three. He’s spent quite a bit of time perfecting his game and getting the experience he needs to finally contribute at this level.
Holiday is a really smart player who has come into his own as the prototypical 3 and D athlete. He can be a little overzealous at times. When he hits a cold shooting streak, Holiday doesn’t do a very good job of shaking out of it. There’s more good than bad when it comes to his efforts. He could start on a number of teams in this league, and would probably fill the void nicely if New York were to move Courtney Lee this offseason.
Now that Holiday’s finally found a rhythm, it’s time for the Knicks to cash in on his talents. At the same time, there’s little doubt that Holiday wants to get paid. After grinding his way up the ladder, he deserves it. Paying him handsomely enough over a two year contract (potentially with a partially guaranteed option for a third) would likely benefit the Knicks.
Holiday’s patience, determination, and high basketball IQ qualify him as someone New York shouldn’t let slip away. Following his own development overseas and in the D-League, Holiday’s best years are likely ahead of him. This past year with New York shouldn’t result in him becoming an one-hit wonder.