What was reported last week has now become official: the Lakers have signed undrafted free agent Jonathan Holmes to a multi year deal. From the Lakers press release:
The Los Angeles Lakers have signed forward Jonathan Holmes to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.
In five games for the Celtics’ entry in the 2015 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Holmes averaged 12.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.0 steals in 21.8 minutes per game, while shooting 55.6% from the field. The 6’9’’ Holmes also appeared in three games for Boston in the 2015 Utah Jazz Summer League, and in his eight games (seven starts) between the two competitions, shot a perfect 15-15 from the free throw line, and 13-28 (46.4%) from beyond-the-arc.
As we covered in our initial write up, Holmes is more of a tweener forward who would likely do his best work as a “stretch four” in the NBA. He has good size (6’9″) and decent length (6’11” wingspan) with a solid build. While at the University of Texas, he spent most of his junior year banging down low as a more traditional big man and then, as a senior, moved the perimeter by playing a lot of small forward.
This versatility in college combined with the numbers he put up in Summer League likely proved pivotal in the Lakers deciding to ink him to a deal. For what it’s worth, the Lakers did have Holmes in for a pre-draft workout and while they did not select him with either of their later two picks (#27 or #34), they seemed to keep him on their radar.
Forecasting out, it’s difficult to know exactly how Holmes fits in the bigger scope of the team. He believes his “ability to stretch the floor, guard multiple positions, score from different positions on the court, and just bring effort and energy every day” are the qualities that make him a viable pro, and these are all traits needed on this Lakers’ team.
However, with Julius Randle, Brandon Bass, Ryan Kelly, and Larry Nance Jr. already in the fold at PF, there’s not a lot of time to be had at that spot. Now, if Holmes can play some SF, that might be his niche. He has a similar build and size characteristics to Jeff Green, so maybe that could be a spot where he finds minutes.
In any event, it’s now on the Lakers and their coaches to figure it out as Holmes is officially in the fold.