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Holmes practices for Kings, could return vs. Warriors

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Reinforcements are on their way.

Kings center Richaun Holmes returned to practice on Friday and barring a setback, he could be available when the Kings travel to San Francisco to play the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.

"We hope so, he looked good in practice today," coach Luke Walton said about Holmes following Friday's practice. "He did some 3s yesterday before the game and then felt good yesterday and played full-go today in practice and looked good. So now it's just wait and see how he feels later today and into tomorrow."

The Kings' starting center has missed the last five games with a right hamstring strain. Walton has used Hassan Whiteside, Damian Jones and Chimezie Metu to fill Holmes' void, but the team desperately needs their defensive leader back on the court.

Holmes has had a tremendous impact on the Kings this season. The 27-year-old is averaging 14.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.6 blocks in 30 minutes per game. All of those numbers are career highs.

"When we're winning games, he's actively chasing down guards and getting blocks for us and things of that nature," Walton said. "He's done a really good job of that."

RELATED: What does Bagley's Kings future look like upon his return?

Walton jokingly said that his ideal center would be a player that's 7-foot-2, runs the floor like a gazelle, blocks every shot, leads the break and can hit a 3-ball. That player doesn't really exist, although USC's Evan Mobley checks most of those boxes if the Kings can get into the top three of the 2021 NBA Draft. 

 

"You go back to what Richaun's done since he's been here -- he might not be the 7-2 part of it, but he's done a lot of those other things we're talking about, including blocking shots," Walton added.

Holmes is finishing off the final season of his two-year $10 million contract with the Kings and is an unrestricted free agent this summer. Sacramento will likely fight hard to retain his services, but Holmes has a huge incentive to return to the court and try to make one last positive impression before the bidding begins in August. 

Holmes isn't the only Kings big man on the mend. Marvin Bagley is back with the team after missing more than a month a broken left hand. He is further behind Holmes in his recovery, but there is a chance that he returns this season.