Arizona Republic reporter Doug Haller has a roundup of Pac-12 2011 NBA Draft hopefuls, including players with local ties in Isaiah Thomas and Klay Thompson.
But he also checks in with one NBA scout on the draft prospects of 6-foot-6 Washington Huskies forward Justin Holiday, who averaged 10.5 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game in his senior season this past year.
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Because of defensive skills, don't be surprised if Washington's Justin Holiday (right) gets drafted. "Wing defenders who can guard multiple players have value at our level," an NBA scout said. "His body is still maturing, and he has some things he needs to work on. How good is he with the ball? Can he shoot? But he has a definable trait as a wing defender, and I know he's on people's radar."
In terms of his shooting, the most encouraging thing is that his shooting percentages have increased each year in school, with his 3-point shooting improving so noticeably this past season that he hit a higher percentage while taking over three times as many per game. While his ball handling might be considered suspect, as mentioned by Walker Beeken of DraftExpress, part of his appeal as a player is that he's a player who knows how to play as a role player without the ball and his defense is good enough to justify a look.
It's not uncommon for people familiar with the UW program to compare Holiday to former Husky Bobby Jones, who was selected in the second round of the 2006 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves before embarking upon a journeyman career bouncing between the NBA and D-League.
Comparatively, Holiday is both a better shooter and ball handler in addition to being an outstanding defender, meaning he projects as a better player than Jones. Given that this is generally considered a weak draft, Holiday definitely has a chance to get drafted.
Whether he sticks longer, of course, depends on what situation he falls into.