Run it back.
The Sacramento Kings checked off the biggest to-do box of their offseason Monday when they found a way to retain center Richaun Holmes in free agency.
NBC Sports California confirmed through a league source that Holmes has agreed to a four-year, $55 million contract with the Kings. The deal comes with a trade kicker, an opt-out and is the most lucrative deal so far by an unrestricte free agent center.
Moments after the news broke, Holmes, his mom and the team shared their excitement on Twitter.
This is a tremendous signing for the Kings. Not only did they retain their own free agent, but they were able to get him on a below-market contract.
While it isn’t the massive haul Holmes’ team was looking for, it’s a huge bump in pay for the 27-year-old big man.
Holmes originally signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Kings in the summer of 2019. It took just four games for the journeyman center to take the starting job away from Dewayne Dedmon, and he hasn’t looked back.
After a very productive first season in Sacramento, Holmes set career highs across the board in Year 2. The 6-foot-10 leaper averaged 14.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.6 blocks per game.
Not only does he stuff the stat sheet, but he is the team’s best defender, and the heart and soul of the squad.
This is an incredibly important signing for Kings general manager Monte McNair. After losing restricted free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic last offseason, repeating history would have been a gut punch for McNair, who hasn’t even been on the job for a calendar year.
Holmes brings energy, toughness and defense, but this might go beyond his impact on the court. Keeping Holmes shows a commitment to the core of the team and the willingness to do what it takes to build something.
With Holmes on board, McNair now can move his focus to balancing the roster, instead of either clearing salary-cap space or trading for a different center option.