What role will Justin Holiday play with the Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

When the Atlanta Hawks traded Kevin Huerter to the Sacramento Kings, there was an element of sadness amongst the franchise and the faithful about seeing Red Velvet go. However, as far as business transactions go, this was quite a good one.

What the Hawks managed to do was save long-term money as well as bring a second Holiday defender into the fold. Justin Holiday came to the Hawks as one component of the trade and this was helpful in fixing the Hawks’ biggest problem area from last season, their perimeter defense.

While Huerter was a starter after Bogdanovic’s injury, his defense was never at the level that the Hawks required. He had many other fantastic attributes but was never a top-tier defender. With Dejounte Murray taking that spot and improving the Hawks’ defense immeasurably, what will Justin Holiday’s role be with the team?

How will the Atlanta Hawks use Justin Holiday this season?

While Holiday is a quality 3-and-D player, he is not a starting caliber player on a championship team. There is no room for him in the starting lineup anyway with Murray and De’Andre Hunter slated to be the Hawks starting wings.

When either of these two players are out for any reason, it will most probably be Holiday who takes their place in the starting lineup. He is a career 36.5 percent shooter from beyond the arc. He shot the 3-ball at 40.5 percent in the one season he played for Nate McMillan with the Indiana Pacers.

So, when he is on the floor he is going to be the primary wing defender, even over Murray as the point guard will have the ball-handling responsibilities with Young off the court. Holiday will stay on the court for a while with Young as the main ball-handler in a Tony Snell-type role. The difference is that Holiday will take more shots and be more difficult to contain on offense.

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As such, he is also going to have to take on some of the spare parts role that used to belong to Huerter. He does not have the all-around talent of Red Velvet, so he will not be able to run the offense but he will certainly keep the defense of the second unit in order.