Status for 2018-19: Club option that must be exercised by June 29 at $1,600,520
Holmes in 2017-18
The Sixers made it quite clear from the beginning of the season that they were going to opt for substance over flash at the backup center position. That meant Amir Johnson would receive the bulk of the playing time behind Joel Embiid instead of Holmes.
Sure, Holmes can be the prototypical spark off the bench that comes in throwing down monster dunks, grabbing boards and blocking shots. The 24-year-old can also miss reads on offense and lose his man for easy baskets on the defensive end.
Johnson is nowhere near the level of athlete as Holmes, but the veteran provided a steady approach to the game that Brett Brown favored for the Sixers.
So Holmes, who missed the first eight games of the season with a broken bone in his left wrist, was limited to a career-low 48 contests and saw his minutes dip from 20.9 a night one season ago to 15.5.
Not an ideal situation for a player with a club option on his contract for next season.
Holmes had a string of games in mid-December when he put up big numbers, scoring in double figures six times in an eight-game stretch. However, those numbers proved pretty hollow as seven of those eight games resulted in losses.
Let’s go with Dec. 30 instead, a 107-102 road comeback over the Denver Nuggets. With Embiid sidelined, Holmes came off the bench to record 14 points, three rebounds, three assists and a block in 19 minutes before fouling out.
Looking ahead to 2018-19
Unlike T.J. McConnell, Holmes didn’t get verbal confirmation that his option would be picked up from team president Bryan Colangelo at end-of-season press conferences.
While it seems unlikely the Sixers will bring back Johnson at a similar salary to what he made last season, the organization will likely see what else is available on the backup big man market.
Still, at 24 years old and with an extremely manageable salary of $1.6 million, Holmes should expect to be back with the Sixers next season. Anything after that will hinge on the amount of growth he shows in what could be his last chance with the team.
“It’s always a competition. Coach always lets it be known that we’re going to compete for spots, going to compete for playing time. Just have to come in next year ready to compete and ready to compete harder.”
- Holmes on whether he expects to be the backup center next season