NBA Draft 2024: Ron Holland sits at No. 1 on John Hollinger’s Top 20 Prospects list

Ron Holland? Yes, Ron Holland. Let’s start with the negatives first:

I think Holland is only going to measure up at 6-6 at the NBA Draft Combine, he shot a dismal 24 percent from 3 in the G League, and his eyes are on the G League season to begin — including an 11-turnover game. – The scouts trembled.

Now, for the good news: He came into the year as the top-rated player on most boards, with better numbers than the G League Ignite has ever done in its history … somehow making his way down draft boards, not even one draft year in which no one came in and claimed the No. 1 spot for themselves.

I really don’t understand. The biggest complaint with Holland is his incompetence, but that’s the second Ignite shot on this list. Any youngster is going to struggle in a situation where they have to carry around a 30 percent usage rate; We saw that with LaMelo Ball in Australia and Scoot Henderson in Portland. Holland is no different, especially since he’s not a natural point guard in the first place. Playing on a team with no real creators, he often had to call his own number against loaded-up defenses.

Did he have a vision after putting the tunnel on the ground? Absolutely. Was it too sad to exclude him against other extremes? I don’t think so, especially as the season wears on.

Holland’s numbers stack up well against Jalen Greens with Ignite and are superior to every other Ignite perimeter player. Although Holland missed the final two months of the season, his increased experience would have given him an edge and the rest of the G League has fallen short due to call-ups and fewer assignment players.

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In his Ignite season, Green posted a 15.4 PER on 61.3 percent true shooting; Holland had 15.8 per cent of 56.5 per cent. The shooting numbers were poor, but Green played on a more consistent team that was only asked to carry a 23 percent usage rate at this level, not Holland’s 28 percent. Also, keep in mind that Holland’s free-throw rate was great for a perimeter player; Four free-throw attempts per game doesn’t seem like much until you remember that the G League counts an attempt as two points. Only 10 players in the entire G League matched his rate. Even with Holland’s brutal early turnover issues, his assist and turnover rates were essentially the same as Green’s age-18 season.

Green will likely be the No. 1 pick in this draft; I think Holland should be too.

Another reason to like Holland is his defense. His 3.5 percent steal rate stands out; A few iffy gambles inflated the total, but there’s real skill (and fire) in this ending. Overall, his rates of rebounds, steals and blocks compare favorably to former Ignite lottery pick Tyson Daniels, for example, who has now become a formidable defender at the NBA level. I think Holland has similar paths to the elite in this end.

Plus, there’s a good eye exam. I’ve seen Holland shoot a ton, and I’ve seen him many times over the last year before games and during the tournament. He has a low push shot that needs some work, but he’s not a 24 percent 3-point shooter. His 72.8 percent mark pretty much sums up where he stands as a shooter — he’s no Stephen Curry, but his shot isn’t broken. Getting to the point where he makes a third would make him a potent two-way unit, and that feels achievable.

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Finally, consider Holland’s age. With a July 2005 birthdate, he’s nearly a year younger than many of his high-lottery contenders: He’s six months younger than Rob Dillingham, nine months younger than Stephen Castle or Matas Pujelis, and more than a year younger. Donovan Klingon and Reed Shepherd. Teams are stuck by class year, but birth year is what matters.

It’s not a slam dunk, and you can make a credible case for many players, but Holland has been the best player on my team since the 2023 Hoop Summit. He has an even better overall resume.

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