We recently discussed what the Lakers might do with their 15th roster spot and it seems we may have found an answer — or at least a potential one. From Real GM’s Shams Charania:
Undrafted Texas forward Jonathan Holmes has reached agreement on a deal with the Lakers, league source tells RealGM. Significant partial.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 8, 2015
Holmes is a combo forward who went undrafted after spending four years at the University of Texas. In his Junior season he boasted averages of 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds a game on 50.5% shooting, but saw those numbers dip dramatically to 10.3 points and 6.1 rebounds on 38.9% in his Senior campaign. It was likely this dip in production which saw his stock fall.
In speaking with Jonathan Tjarks, also of Real GM, about Holmes he said the following about his pro prospects:
“(Holmes) is almost certainly a small-ball PF in the NBA. He has average physical tools for the position and his success will almost certainly be dependent on how well he shoots the 3 ball at the next level”
For what it’s worth, Holmes shots 33.1% and 33.3% from behind the arc in his final two years at Texas, the final year launching 4.1 shots from distance a game.
Tjarks also noted, however, that Holmes is a hard working, high character player who likely suffered not only from his shift in role, but from an offense that did not offer a lot of spacing, ball movement, or playmakers who could make his job easier. One would imagine his circumstances would be different in the pros as he’d be surrounded by more talent, but, as noted above, a lot of that would also depend on how he can grow his game and improve his shooting. It seems he will be the type of player who puts the time in better his game, though.
Charania notes there is a “significant guarantee” in Holme’s contract, but without knowing the exact figures it would be hard to know exactly what that means. However, any guarantee would put him on a level above Tarik Black and Jabari Brown, both of whom have fully non-guaranteed contracts for next season. Whether this would give Holmes a leg up in earning a roster spot remains to be seen, especially since the Lakers already have a crowded front court with Julius Randle, Brandon Bass, Ryan Kelly, and Larry Nance Jr. all slotted in at PF — and both Randle and Nance, potentially, carrying the same “combo” tag (like Holmes) as players who could, potentially, play some SF in certain match ups.
In any event, the Lakers continue to add young prospects who are worth taking a longer look at. Draft Express had Holmes ranked as their 24th rated prospect in June’s draft and considering his talent level, the versatility offered, and the combination of high character and work ethic he brings to the table he’s likely worth a longer look in camp and preseason to see if he can stick. And, if he can’t, the Lakers can probably still just waive him, significant guarantee or not.
Speaking of Draft Express see below for well done videos on Holmes’ strengths and weaknesses.
1 more switch-everything defender.
My brother in law went to Texas and loves the sports team and often tauted this dude to me as a late 1st/2nd round pick tailor made to be an NBA stretch 4. Not that he’s any kind of basketball expert but I just find this funny after hearing about this guy for two years. Also you have to love the name!
Texas alum here. I’ve been a huge fan of Holmes during his career at Texas. High character, hard working player who’s willing to do whatever the team needs. Think he’ll make a great glue guy in the NBA. Unfortunately he was stuck in a crappy Rick Barnes offense for his college career that wasn’t able to fully take advantage of everything he could do. Couldn’t be happier that he’s signing with the Lakers! Hope he’s able to stick on the roster.
The Lakers certainly are stacking the deck. I wonder how the final roster is going to end up after the cuts have been made. Could Upshaw still squeeze himself in there or are the Lakers through with him?
Upshaw already has a promised deal, probably non-guaranteed. Lakers will bring to camp Brown, Brown, Black, Holmes, Upshaw, and Nance, throw the spaghetti on the wall, and see who emerges. Each brings some special talent, and all want to play D. Full or partial guarantees won’t matter much to the Lakers, they will keep the best players. This will also depend on how may prove worthy.