Holmes, 27, is entering free agency after enjoying the two best years of his career with the Kings. Holmes flourished and became a fan favorite in Sacramento while setting himself up for a big payday this summer. Holmes discussed his time in Sacramento and the road ahead during an interview with Stadium’s Shams Charania. Holmes said he is “very excited” about becoming a free agent and alluded to the possibility of joining a playoff team.
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“Never really been in a position like this before,” Holmes said. “Heard about it from former teammates and other guys, so I’m definitely excited about being in this position, and, honestly, I feel like I can fit anywhere. The way I play, my play style, what I bring, any team is going to need that, especially playoff teams. That’s something that’s going to be sought after, so I feel like my play style can fit anywhere.”
Holmes was asked what kind of advice he has received as he prepares to become a free agent. “I think the biggest piece of advice that I received, and it’s really simple, but it actually resonated with me,” Holmes said. “It’s just: Do what’s best for you and your family. You know what I’m saying? The people around me — I have a son, a 6-year-old son, (and) where I go next is going to be a big implication on him. My parents, they work with me. My brothers work with me, so it’s really a decision that’s not only effecting me but effecting everybody’s livelihood around me, so I’m making sure I don’t take any of those decisions or any of those people’s lives for granted, that I’m really trying to make sure I make a decision that’s best not only for me, but for them as well. So I think that’s the main thing, just making sure I put myself in a good position to continue to flourish as well as my family.”
I look at four teams that we need to keep an eye on as we near free agency for Richaun Holmes, including the Sacramento Kings, who have his Early Bird Rights, the Dallas Mavericks, the Charlotte Hornets, and the Toronto Raptors. Holmes loves Sacramento. He touched on that in a podcast interview with me on HoopsHype. They’re going to have to make a trade to free up some cap space if they want to keep him, most likely. I think he’s going to get more than what Sacramento can pay him. He’s loved Sacramento as the franchise that gave him an opportunity on the court and the ways the fans have treated him off the court.
Shams Charania: Kings‘ Richaun Holmes sits down with @Stadium: Emerging as a starting C after being drafted behind Joel Embiid and others in Philly “These were starting centers…I feel like I’m competing against them off rip”, free agency (Hornets, Mavs expected to pursue, per sources), more. pic.twitter.com/o8EZuVQbm6
(Noel) was the only player to average two blocks and a steal per game last season and a guy that was second in defensive rating. A couple of teams have Nerlens Noel on their free agency radar. Among those teams, the Sacramento Kings and the Toronto Raptors, I’m told. Regarding Sacramento, it depends on what happens with their free-agent center, Richaun Holmes. We’ve done a podcast with him and talked about what he’s looking for in free agency, so give that a listen. The Knicks also remain interested in potentially re-signing Noel as a guy who was pretty instrumental in their defensive ranking as a team during the season. It seemed like a match made in Heaven with coach Tom Thibodeau.
In talking with executives around the league and agents that are repping free agents going into the market, everyone is expecting the Hornets to go after a big man or two. They’ve got their free-agent centers on the market in Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo. Among the guys that have been linked is Richaun Holmes, Sacramento Kings free-agent center.
According to a league source, Holmes’ team is looking for a contract in the neighborhood of four-years and $80 million. That’s a steep price to pay, but Holmes will be coveted on the open market.
“We’re going to see what happens,” Holmes said during his Zoom session on Monday. “Definitely have a love for Sacramento, what we’re trying to build here, what we built this season. I definitely have an interest in trying to go beyond that.”
James Ham: “We love Richaun. He had a career year. He’s an integral part of the team.” -Monte McNair
James Ham: “I feel very strongly about Richaun and what he means to this team.” -Walton on Richaun Holmes
While the Mavericks did quietly gauge trade interest on Kristaps Porzingis before the trade deadline, they are more determined to find a center to pair with their All-Star big man, sources said. That big man could very well become Holmes, although the Mavericks are likely to pursue John Collins this summer as well.
Holmes emerged as a true starting center in Sacramento this season, averaging career highs in points (14.2), rebounds (8.3) and blocks (1.6). And in a market that has recently rewarded low-usage, rim-rolling centers who protect the basket on the other end, Holmes could find himself netting a deal worth upward of $80 million over four years, according to league personnel polled by Bleacher Report. “He’s super athletic obviously, really good timing as a roller, does a lot of the little things,” said one longtime personnel man. “He’s pretty durable. He doesn’t need the ball. He can play with really any type of team. He doesn’t really stretch the floor, but teams are looking for that level of guy.”
You’re an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Are there certain things you learned from your last free-agent experience that you can use this time around? Richaun Holmes: “I think during my last free agency, I just learned how to gauge the situations that are best for me and my family. Just understanding the situations that I’m going to put myself in as far as living conditions and things of that sort, just understanding everything about choosing where you’re going to play next, understanding the impact that it’s going to have and how big of a decision it is and how much thought you really want to put into it — not just for yourself but for your family as well. I just think the seriousness of it and how you want to think [about things] and make sure you make the right decision… I feel like those are all things I learned the last time I went through it.”
With the trade deadline looming, Holmes opened up about his experience in Sacramento and sounded very much like a player who found his NBA home. “I can’t say enough how much I love this city, love these fans, love my teammates, love stepping out there in Sacramento in my jersey representing this city,” Holmes said following the win. “It’s been some of the best times of my life.”
By the end of the season, what are your goals individually and collectively as a team? Richayn Holmes: Collectively, to make the playoffs. That’s where we feel like we should be. That’s what we feel like the talent level we have, that’s a goal that’s accomplishable. Individually, I just want to show I’m a legit starting center. I’m one of the best centers in the league I feel like. And, as I get more consistent, I have a lot more to show. I just want to show that I’m one of the best two-way centers in this league for sure, continue to showcase that, and put the NBA on notice.
When you signed with Sacramento, what was your view of the Kings at the time and choose them instead of other options you had? Richaun Holmes: They hadn’t been to the playoffs in a while, so I was really unsure. One thing about Sacramento is how hard they pursued me. From the opening of free agency, they made it clear they wanted me in Sacramento and I could help this team. I think that’s the one thing that won me over more than anything was how overwhelmingly they pursued me.
During the latest episode of the Purple Talk podcast, the pick-and-roll specialist sounded like a player who has found his NBA home. “I absolutely love Sacramento,” Holmes told NBC Sports California. “This community, this city, these fans — have shown me, in my short time here, that I really couldn’t see myself playing anywhere else. I would love to play here the rest of my career. I love to play in front of these fans, be a part of this community — this is a great place to be and I’d love just to be a part of it.”
Noel Harris: The Kings have officially signed Richaun Holmes. He will wear No. 22.
Richaun Holmes: 👑👑👑
Alex Kennedy: Richaun Holmes has received interest from the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls (his hometown team), according to sources. Holmes averaged 8.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 16.9 minutes last year with the Phoenix Suns.
Another offseason target is Richaun Holmes, a 25-year-old big man who is a massive ball of energy. He could be the replacement to Zaza Pachulia as the team’s backup center, or play alongside Thon Maker. Holmes averaged 8.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and a career-high 1.1 blocks this past season with the Suns. To put it simply: Holmes is just active.
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