The 2016 trade deadline offered Chicago a chance to hit the reset button and give them some freedom heading into free agency Maybe clear some cap space, give Hoiberg a chance to get the players that fit his system, and then go from there. That seemed like the route Chicago should have taken.
Instead, all that happened was a final-moments move where Chicago decided to trade Kirk Hinrich for Justin Holiday (and a 2nd round pick) in a three-team deal with the Jazz and Hawks. It seemed more like a salary dump more than anything and at the time it didn't seem like a good move at all. You moved Kirk Hinrich, a fan favorite and a good locker room guy, for a player that nobody knows and probably wasn't going to play? Sounded like another blown trade deadline for the front office.
But Holiday has shown the Bulls something to work with in his short stint here. He's a solid energy player and in a bench that has struggled all season (with the exception of Doug McDermott), Holiday has shown that he can be a guy that will give you a solid 15 minutes off the bench. He's also taken Tony Snell's spot in the rotation as it seems the Bulls have finally given up on the 2013 draft pick.
When he's on the court Holiday gives the Bulls something that Snell didn't, energy. Holiday is not a scorer or a defensive stopper. He can't create his own shot and can't take over a game for the Bulls. But he's a hustle guy who will work on both ends of the court. Holiday doesn't try to force anything on the offensive end and if the occasional opportunity for an easy layup or open three (he's shooting 40% from deep as a Bull) is there, he takes it. His play in the open court has also helped the Bulls as well. For a team that has seemed as out of it as the Bulls have, Holiday's play and energy has been a pleasant surprise.
Another thing to love about Holiday's play right now is his contract, which is essentially the veteran's minimum. His cap hit is around $1m for next year, over a million less than Snell. Chicago has made some pretty bad moves when it comes to cap space, but getting Holiday for cheap and seeing that he can give you something turned out to be a good move for the Bulls.
For the dumpster fire of a season that has been the 2015-16 Chicago Bulls there are some positives to take away from this. Yes, there are positives in this Bulls season. The play of Derrick Rose, the rise of E'Twaun Moore and Doug McDermott are all good things to take away from this. The front office have been absolutely a joke this season but you should give them credit for the Holiday trade, no mater how much we don't want to.
I've been hard on the Bulls front office, but: E'Twaun was an amazing find, the Justin Holiday deal was solid and Doug is showing signs.— Ricky O'Donnell (@SBN_Ricky) March 15, 2016