Despite the recent rumblings of former Texas Longhorns forward Jonathan Holmes’ draft stock rising, and even peaking at the tail end of the first round in a few mock drafts, 60 names were called during Thursday night’s NBA Draft and Holmes wasn’t one of them.
Still can't believe Jonathan Holmes went undrafted. Christian Wood also. Despite all of the questions, too much talent not to take a swing.— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) June 26, 2015
Once the second round began, I was sure that with each pick that passed, Holmes had a pretty solid chance of hearing his name called. A few teams, such as the Washington Wizards had their team need highlighted as a stretch forward during the second round, which has been widely regarded as the role Holmes will fill in the NBA with his ability to play both forward roles and contribute in a multitude of ways, both inside and out, but passed on the former Longhorn. Considering the NBA is now seen as shifting towards the small-ball formula with smaller lineups and versatile forwards after the Golden State Warriors rode that formula to an NBA championship, along with Holmes’ NBA comparisons being to Golden State’s Draymond Green, it makes Holmes going undrafted even more surprising.
It was reported down the stretch that Holmes confidence in where he would be selected – the 25-45 range – led to him canceling workouts with teams picking in the second round, such as Charlotte. It was also noted that Holmes excelled in his workout and there was a mutual interest with the Detroit Pistons, but that potential pairing didn’t come to fruition by way of the draft.
So what’s next for Holmes?
The most plausible answer is some team will scoop Holmes up and sign them to their summer league roster. There could be some concern as to why he hasn’t landed on a roster yet while so many others are inking summer league deals, but Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders made a great point as to why Holmes is still on the available.
Some guys (Christian Wood, Cliff Alexander, Jonathan Holmes, etc) take longer to pick summer league team since they're weighing many offers.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 26, 2015
Although it was a surprise to see Holmes go undrafted, it would be a much larger shock to see summer league play kick off and Holmes still out of work. From that point, I’m sure his agent would explore overseas options, but with his skill set, versatility and work ethic, it shouldn’t ever get to that point.
Now the waiting game to see where this former four-year Longhorn lands begins.