Articles | Free Agency | Numbers

Report: Richaun Holmes likely returning to Sacramento

Retaining their starting center would be huge for Sacramento's playoff push next season.

Over the last few months, Richaun Holmes' upcoming free agency has developed into a bit of a panic point for Kings fans. Rumors have abounded that the Toronto Raptors or the Charlotte Hornets or the Dallas Mavericks would shower Holmes with enough cash to pull him away from the Kings, but according to a couple of highly reliable NBA reporters, that may no longer be the case. On Wednesday morning, Zach Lowe stated that "there's a lot of Richaun Holmes back to Sacramento buzz", while Marc Stein shared similar sentiments via the Greenroom app. Interestingly enough, Richaun Holmes' brother, Richard Holmes, tweeted the classic "eyes emoji" yesterday afternoon.

If those reports are accurate, Monte McNair and the rest of the organization can breathe a huge sigh of relief heading into the draft tomorrow evening. They'll no longer be forced to either trade for a starting center or to try and find a subpar replacement in free agency, and the roster will be in a much better position to try and break the 15-year playoff drought currently haunting the franchise.

Bringing Holmes back into the fold will require one of two paths, each with its own complications. As a team that is currently scheduled to remain over the cap heading into the summer, Sacramento's current option is to re-sign Holmes via early bird rights. That method would allow the Kings to offer Richaun a 4-year deal starting at approximately $10.5 million, with 8% annual, non-compounding raises, totaling about $47 million. For a player who has earned a total of $14 million over his six-year NBA career, inking a deal worth almost that amount on an annual basis could be enough to convince Holmes to stay.

However, if other teams are still planning to throw stacks of cash at Richaun, the Kings will be in a much more complicated position. They'll need to find a way to get under the cap before the start of free agency, entirely possible, but not without its own consequences. It's also important to note that Holmes is an unrestricted free agent, meaning the Kings will have no rights of first refusal to match offer sheets. It'll come down to beating other offers outright or convincing Richaun to stay for reasons other than cold, hard cash.

Opening up a path to cap space would require the Kings to start dumping a chunk of salary, but that may not be an issue with both Marvin Bagley ($11 million) and Buddy Hield ($23 million) likely on their way out the door prior to next season. Any such transactions would require the Kings to take on less salary than their sending, but the size of those departing contracts wouldn't make that particularly difficult to accomplish, depending on the other facets of the deal.

One significant detractor in converting from an over-the-cap team to operating under the salary cap is the loss of the mid-level exception and the bi-annual exception. The MLE is a spending tool worth up to 4 years, $41 million, while the BAE would allow the Kings to sign someone to a deal worth approximately 2 years, $8 million. Both of those would be replaced with the room exception, worth only 2 years, $9 million. Going the route of cap space would severely limit Sacramento's spending ability in free agency, outside of re-signing Holmes to a large deal.

Sacramento's desire to re-sign Richaun Holmes is completely understandable, even at the expense of other spending tools. They cannot find an equal replacement in free agency, nor will they likely find a starting-caliber center in a trade, at least not without surrendering significant assets. If the Kings truly are locked into a push for the postseason in 2021, they must re-sign Richaun Holmes, and it seems as though they may be well on their way to accomplishing that goal.

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RobHessing
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July 28, 2021 12:56 pm

4/$47m would be awesome. I could live with creating space for a 4/$56m deal. After that I start to get a little anxious.

Gregoryl
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July 28, 2021 4:34 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Ham is reporting that Holmes is looking for 4 years/$80M…

RobHessing
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July 28, 2021 4:36 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

And I would wish him well and hope that he gets it somewhere else.

rc50cal
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July 28, 2021 10:27 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Same.

Kayte_Hunter_Fan_club
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July 28, 2021 4:39 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

That’s just the agent playing games. It’s part of the process of negotiating. He knows Homes isn’t worth anything near those numbers.

rc50cal
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July 28, 2021 10:28 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I agree with this. I want to keep him but if the price is 4/$72M or more, I wish him well.

Gregoryl
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July 28, 2021 12:58 pm

Love to have Richaun back. At the right price.

RobHessing
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July 28, 2021 1:01 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

W-L record notwithstanding, Fox, Hali and Holmes would be easy on the eyes. Fun players to watch and root for.

aplumley
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July 28, 2021 9:08 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I actually would throw Barnes in there too. Replace Bagley and Hield with some defense and depth and you could think about losing the preface of “W-L record notwithstanding”.

RobHessing
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July 29, 2021 8:19 am
Reply to  aplumley

Yes, Harrison’s all around game, selflessness and durability are sometimes lost in what is suddenly a lot closer to being a fair value contract ($20m, $18m).

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
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July 28, 2021 1:00 pm

Hopefully if he comes back it’ll be at a decent price. Regardless, love me some Richaun and Dr. Holmes tweets as well. 🙂

kingsforaday
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July 28, 2021 1:08 pm

Did anyone watch his IG interview with Shams Charania? I got the sense he was really looking forward to free agency and seeing what opportunities were out there. That had me more worried that he’s leaving. I would love to have him back as well at the right price. He’s fun to root for and a great competitor.

Amonk81
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July 28, 2021 1:55 pm
Reply to  kingsforaday

I did see that. Sounded like he was very likely gone. Like to have him back and wish the Kings would just reset rather than regurgitate the same middling club.

rc50cal
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July 28, 2021 10:29 pm
Reply to  kingsforaday

This is his chance at life changing money. I’d look forward to it too.

Tunel_21
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July 28, 2021 1:13 pm

I LOVE Richaun Holmes. Having him be a consistent force on a team with a disgusting amount of inconsistency has been one of the only joys the last couple seasons. This makes me ecstatic, but I’m still treading with caution just in case another team wants to throw the bag at him.

Having him leave Sacramento will be up there with one of the hardest departures in the last few years. Up there with Isaiah, and surprisingly Shumpert. I will take this opinion to the grave, but I believe the Kings would’ve made the playoffs if they kept Shump on that €œScores€ team. I like to believe he did a lot in that locker room and Vlade traded away a motivated locker room voice and leader, even if his stats were extremely subpar.

Anyways…

With Richaun, I believe in his leadership, his work ethic, and he has the efficient stats to go along with it. He’s is as essential to this team as it gets. His family is also a big bonus on an emotional front as well. Let us pray that we get to keep the Holmes family in Sac!

Gregoryl
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July 28, 2021 1:21 pm
Reply to  Tunel_21

Shump was a great locker room guy, but his game that season was rough.

1951
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July 28, 2021 1:23 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

The Legend Of Shump will never die! Never!

Gregoryl
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July 28, 2021 1:25 pm
Reply to  1951

He’s getting a reality show too! Should be awesome.

KangzofLeon
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July 28, 2021 3:09 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

Purpletalk

Hobby916
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July 28, 2021 1:54 pm
Reply to  Tunel_21

I like that Holmes is a guy that speaks up on the court and calls attention to players that missed defensive rotations, etc. Saw him do it with Bagley multiple times. Trying to teach, educate, motivate, and hold teammates accountable are all good traits for this team

Hobby916
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July 28, 2021 5:11 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

A down vote? I guess someone thinks those things are not good and should not be done on a team sport. Oh well. To each their own

aplumley
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July 28, 2021 9:10 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Team Bagley

rc50cal
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July 28, 2021 10:31 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Ok Marvin Sr. That’s enough!

Brown.says.Good.or.Bad
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July 28, 2021 1:18 pm

This is really good!

Jman1949
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July 28, 2021 2:21 pm

comment image&ct=g

1951
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July 28, 2021 1:18 pm

Retaining their starting center would be huge for Sacramento’s playoff push next season.

€We can’t lose a major piece of our 31 win core!€

😜

RobHessing
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July 28, 2021 1:32 pm
Reply to  1951

It is something that this team is at its most compelling when it’s not playing.

Last edited 1 year ago by RobHessing
Klam
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July 28, 2021 1:37 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Can’t see the team losing if they don’t play…

ZillersCat
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July 28, 2021 2:58 pm
Reply to  Klam

comment image

Bluejohn
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July 28, 2021 2:59 pm
Reply to  ZillersCat

Well……………..that explains it.

coolhandluke
July 28, 2021 10:42 pm
Reply to  Klam

Kings unbeaten in the playoffs for 15 years running. Yeah, baby!

PissedOffGorilla
July 29, 2021 7:48 am
Reply to  Klam

You miss 100% of the losses you don’t play.

Last edited 1 year ago by PissedOffGorilla
Marty
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July 28, 2021 3:52 pm
Reply to  1951

We’re in some sort of alternate reality.

We can’t lose a major piece of our 31 win core!

Last edited 1 year ago by Marty Marty
Otis
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July 28, 2021 4:53 pm
Reply to  1951

Yeah, I think it would be great to have him back, just not on anything more than $10 to $12m per season.

Nathanssj
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July 28, 2021 9:24 pm
Reply to  1951

I love Richard as much as the next kings fan; however, he is a role player. He is an important role player, but a role player. If Holmes is actually a €œcore€ piece, then I mean€¦. I think it would be a miracle to peak as a .500 team, just saying.

PissedOffGorilla
July 29, 2021 7:47 am
Reply to  1951

Yeah, I read up to that and immediately went straight to the comments. Not sure if headlines don’t allow for sarcasm font styles or what.

GFunkClassic
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July 28, 2021 2:00 pm

I’m worried once Holmes grabs the bag, things are going to change for him mentally. He’s been this huge underdog, and outperformer of expectations and money paid, his whole basketball career.

I was reading an article about Ryan Anderson the other day where he talked about the change, once he landed a big contract with Houston. He mentioned how he underestimated the mental aspect of now being paid to be one of the top guys on the team, and the expectations along with it, when his whole career kind of felt like the underdog, overperformer. Now he was the underperformer. I can see this happening to Holmes. I like him. I just think he’s a role player on a good team, not a starter on a good team.

Want-to-be-gm
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July 28, 2021 4:22 pm
Reply to  GFunkClassic

That is a great post with many excellent points. You should have 20 plus thumbs up for that post. Some of these numbers being thrown around for Holmes are flat out ridiculous. He’s not that young, he can’t score from the perimeter and he’s undersized. 3 years for 30 mil with a team option in year 3 is plenty for his skill set. He’s a high volume backup on a good team. These guys are all over the league.

Want-to-be-gm
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July 28, 2021 4:35 pm
Reply to  Want-to-be-gm

If you watch closely, here is 3 guys who are younger, cheaper, and just as good as Holmes and there are several other examples. Robert Williams, Isaiah Stewart, Daniel Gafford. The Kings get overly enthralled with any player that somewhat contributes for them and then they overpay. I think this GM is smarter and won’t do that. Ridiculous numbers were being thrown around for WCS and thank god we didn’t bite on that one.

Otis
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July 28, 2021 4:59 pm
Reply to  Want-to-be-gm

You should have 20 plus thumbs up for that post.

Just log into some of your sock accounts.

Want-to-be-gm
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July 28, 2021 10:37 pm
Reply to  Otis

This coming from a loser who spends half his life on a blog professing to know something about a game he’s never played or coached. Dribble the ball twice then talk.

Otis
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July 29, 2021 4:26 am
Reply to  Want-to-be-gm

It’s like you’re mailing in the same old insults these days. Where’s the fresh material? Where’s that spark we used to have?

And I guaran-damn-tee you post more here these days (between this and your other accounts) than I do.

Nathanssj
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July 28, 2021 9:29 pm
Reply to  Want-to-be-gm

Won’t say these guys are all over the league. Center though is probably the best position to go cheap though. Wings are the most valuable position *cough* here’s looking again at you vlade for that infamous bagley pick *cough*

Want-to-be-gm
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July 28, 2021 10:38 pm
Reply to  Nathanssj

True for the most part but Holmes is very replaceable.

Want-to-be-gm
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July 28, 2021 4:43 pm
Reply to  GFunkClassic

These numb skulls downvoting you are the same ones who liked the George Hill, Zzzbo, Dedmon, Joseph contracts. All of which I said were ridiculous at the times. Throw in the Buddy Hield contract equally ridiculous.

CrosseyedandPainless
July 28, 2021 5:54 pm
Reply to  Want-to-be-gm

You didn’t say that

Otis
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July 28, 2021 4:56 pm
Reply to  GFunkClassic

People are different, so not sure anything would change with Richaun on a bigger contract.

But agree with your last sentence. Not sure I agree with the article that the Kings couldn’t find a comparable player in free agency.

AnybodyButBagley
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July 28, 2021 6:34 pm
Reply to  GFunkClassic

How do you explain Bagley?

Steals tons of money from the beginning and at no point has he earned it.

SexyNapear
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July 28, 2021 2:01 pm

This would be the best possible result I’ve heard thus far. The guy is the beating heart of the team.

Noemal916
July 28, 2021 2:11 pm

I thought the Kings could only sign Holmes for 4/$50 millions? Unless Holmes decided to take a discount, or Bagley’s trade is imminent, I don’t see why Holmes would possibly pass on a better FA deal.

Hobby916
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July 28, 2021 2:13 pm
Reply to  Noemal916

Loyalty? Maybe he values that more than cash?

Nathanssj
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July 28, 2021 9:31 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Loyalty to a 31 win team??

ForKingsandCountry
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July 28, 2021 2:20 pm

Just a hunch but I think Buddy and Bags are both gone and if Holmes does come back, it’ll be the cap space from those moves that allow it. I do get the sense that there could be a lot of movement from the Kings in the next couple days. We shall see.

OG_Aggie
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July 28, 2021 4:09 pm

Based on an eyes emoji? Seems kinda of a thin premise.

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RobHessing
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July 28, 2021 4:21 pm

The red banner can be cruel at times.

Klam
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July 28, 2021 5:03 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Kind of like being a Kings fan?
comment image

Kingsguru21
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July 28, 2021 10:10 pm
Reply to  Klam

The beatings shall continue until morale improves Klam. I thought you knew this already……

NorCalKingsFan
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July 28, 2021 8:44 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I clicked the bait…no regrets

Carl
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July 28, 2021 4:38 pm

Good news. Richaun is certainly an easy player to like. I’m a little surprised. I didn’t think the team had a real interest at his likely price.

NickS
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July 28, 2021 5:05 pm

News came out he’s seeking 4/80 in FA

BasketballHella
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July 28, 2021 5:06 pm

I am not trying to rain on the happiness of bringing back Holmes. But I highly doubt that this buzz is anything but trying to keep that price high from Holmes camp. Even a friend who worked for an agency after law school said that it’s most likely due to his €œsuitors€ being active in rumors for trades of other centers.

kgdobter
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July 28, 2021 8:23 pm

This is my feeling too. I don’t think there is that much demand for Holmes out there and his camp is playing the loyalty card. Making it sound like he really wants to stay here. That interview where he says that he’s looking forward to the free agent process and is looking to just take care of his family, now looks like they’re just trying to save face.

I want him back, but I’m sick and tired of paying way too much for guys that just don’t deserve top dollar. The free agent process can be a bitch.

BabalooMagoo
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July 28, 2021 5:36 pm

If indeed this happens I will consider it great news.

jjdski
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July 28, 2021 6:46 pm

He gone

Last edited 1 year ago by jjdski
jjdski
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July 28, 2021 7:57 pm
Reply to  jjdski

He gone

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Mike120
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July 28, 2021 7:30 pm

LOVE the idea of keeping Richaun. But the price needs to be right for him and the team. Now Kuzma and Lakers 22 for Buddy?

Last edited 1 year ago by Mike120
jctar
July 28, 2021 11:28 pm

4/$47m would put Holmes in the top half of starting centers. It seems like only the star centers get paid anymore. I am idiot, but to me, it looks like 4/47 is the upper end for a non-star center without any elite skills in the NBA.

HongKongKingsFan
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July 29, 2021 9:15 am
Reply to  jctar

I would only paid 4/$40m, with team option at year 4 or partially guaranteed.

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