Justin Holiday is going to the Chicago Bulls, as part of a three-team deal tying the Atlanta Hawks’ transactions with the Bulls and the Utah Jazz together.
According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, wing Justin Holiday is going to the Chicago Bulls in what is now a three-team trade involving the Atlanta Hawks, the Chicago Bulls, and the Utah Jazz in the minutes leading up to the 2016 NBA Trade Deadline.
The players changing teams in this deal are that point guard Shelvin Mack is going to the Utah Jazz, Justin Holiday is going to the Chicago Bulls, and veteran win Kirk Hinrich is coming back to the Atlanta Hawks. Chicago is getting a second round pick from the Hawks and the Jazz are giving the Atlanta Hawks a second round pick.
Trading both Shelvin Mack and Justin Holiday means that the Atlanta Hawks have one more roster spot to fill on their 15-man roster. Expect head coach Mike Budenholzer and general manager Wes Wilcox to find that player either in free agency or sign somebody up from the NBA’s D-League.
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Holiday came to the Atlanta Hawks in on a two-year deal he signed in free agency after being a lightly used reserve on the 2014-15 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. Justin Holiday never seemed to crack the Atlanta bench rotation, as his offensive rating was the worst on the club during his short tenure in Atlanta.
In essence what the Atlanta Hawks have done at the 2016 NBA Trade Deadline is to free up a roster spot for yet another wing development project while acquiring a veteran Budenholzer knows can hold his own on the defensive end in Kirk Hinrich. Hinrich grew defensively under former Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau’s all-out defensive scheme in the last few years.
This move does seem to free up some cap space for the Atlanta Hawks, which they may need to do what they want to in free agency. That would include re-signing both starting center Al Horford and starting small forward Kent Bazemore.
Hinrich frankly has a better shot at cracking Budenholzer’s rotation than did either Justin Holiday or Shelvin Mack. This three-team trade also probably means that rookie small forward Lamar Patterson will start to play more regular minutes again, as he climbs up the pecking order in Budenholzer’s bench rotation.