Indiana Pacers: What should Aaron Holiday’s role be?

Aaron Holiday, Indiana Pacers - Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Aaron Holiday, Indiana Pacers - Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers have an interesting situation with Aaron Holiday.

When the Indiana Pacers drafted Aaron Holiday in 2018, the vision was to develop him into a point guard that plays meaningful minutes. With Malcolm Brogdon locking up the starting job and T.J. McConnell returning as his backup, Aaron Holiday is in a bit of a weird situation.

Holiday is a great combo guard who can handle point guard duties but has also shown that he can thrive as the off-ball guard. Last season, when the Pacers dealt with injuries, Holiday slid into the starting lineup at both guard spots. He started in 33 of Indiana’s 66 games last season but ideally, that will not be the case in 2020-21.

The goal is for the team to stay healthy enough so Aaron Holiday does not have to start half the games, but rather keep him in the second unit and continue to develop chemistry with the reserves. If he can stay with the bench unit alongside Justin Holiday and Goga Bitadze, the Pacers can have a very strong rotation.

McConnell creates a bit of a question mark at the backup point guard spot because of his veteran leadership and experience. I would confidently assume McConnell will be the primary backup ball-handler, leaving Aaron Holiday as an undersized backup at the two. He is a great shot creator for himself and others who saw an increase in usage last season, nearly doubling his points per game and assists per game averages.

I think the best option for Holiday is to stagger his minutes with McConnell so they are not both on the floor for extended periods of time. Instead, Holiday can work minimally with McConnell but serve as a primary ball-handler with Victor Oladipo on the floor and as an off-ball guard with Brogdon leading the offense.

Either way, the Pacers need to play Holiday similar minutes to his 2019-20 production. His 24.5 minutes per game should be the target goal for Holiday to start the season but he could even play closer to 30 minutes per game if the team wants to continue evaluating his future.

If he can keep shooting at the same clip as last season, Holiday will be a huge role player for the Pacers. He converted 39.4 percent of his three-point attempts last season and keeping that conversion rate would make Indiana’s bench a dangerous shooting unit.

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