Richaun Holmes wants to re-sign with Kings in 2021 NBA free agency

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James Ham
·3 min read
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Holmes wants to re-sign with Kings, loves Sacramento originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Sacramento isn’t an NBA free agent hotbed. In fact, the Kings often have to overpay and very seldom do they get value for their investment when it comes to NBA free agency.

That isn’t the case with Richaun Holmes. Former general manager Vlade Divac found a diamond in the rough during the summer of 2019 and the Kings’ starting center would love nothing more than to stick around when his two-year contract expires this summer.

“Absolutely,” Holmes said on a recent taping of Kings Central on NBC Sports California. “I absolutely love playing in Sacramento. Love the fans in Sacramento. Love stepping out in that arena with Sacramento across my jersey. So I would love to play here and hopefully everything works out, but Sacramento is a great place to play. They’ve embraced me with open arms and it’s somewhere I can definitely see myself playing.”

Holmes was almost an afterthought in 2019. Divac had already landed a starting center in Dewayne Dedmon, as well as veterans Cory Joseph and Trevor Ariza.

The plan was for Holmes to battle with Harry Giles for the backup center spot. Five games into the 2019-20 season, Holmes unseated Dedmon as the starter and a season later, he’s the last man standing in Sacramento out of the trio.

In his second season with the Kings, Holmes is off to another tremendous start. He’s averaging a career-high 13.3 points per game and he’s leading the league in field goal percentage at 67.7 percent.

Holmes is also averaging 7.9 rebounds and career-bests in both assists (1.9) and blocks (1.7). While the Kings haven’t had success in the win/loss column, Holmes is one of their more consistent players on both ends of the floor.

Sacramento’s new general manager Monte McNair has a big decision on his hands. He has major money wrapped in Buddy Hield and Harrison Barnes. De’Aaron Fox’s extension also kicks in, which sees his salary jump from $8 million to $28.1 million.

McNair won’t be able to bring Holmes back on another two-year, $10 million contract. The 27-year-old has earned a major pay increase with his play on both ends of the court.

How much will he cost the Kings? An early ballpark figure has Holmes probably signing in the neighborhood of a three-year, $27-33 million contract, although he might get a slightly better offer than that on the open market.

Since Holmes signed a two-year contract with the Kings originally, the Kings do own “Early Bird” rights to Holmes. They can exceed the salary cap to sign him to a contract based on 175 percent of his 2020-21 salary of $5 million.

That means if the Kings somehow find their way at or above the cap, they can sign him to a contract with a starting salary of $8.75 million. With eight percent raises, that would work out to a three-year, $28.4 million or a four-year, $39.4 million contract.

Sacramento will have additional ways of keeping Holmes. His cap hold is a very modest $6.5 million for next season, which allows the Kings to make additional moves before they address his contract, as long as he is willing to work with the team.

McNair can use what small amount of cap space he might have this offseason to extend Holmes. Either way, the Kings have options, as long as Holmes still has the same positive vibes about the franchise that he is feeling in January.

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The key is that Holmes believes he’s found a home. The fans love Holmes. Walton believed so much in Holmes that he benched a player who just signed a three-year, $40 million contract in Dedmon.

Now if McNair and the rest of the front office feels the same, Holmes could very well stick around long term in Sacramento.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Sacramento
+155+5O 237.5
Portland
-189-5U 237.5