There are roughly 21 different ways the NBA trade deadline could go for the Sacramento Kings. One move that could be on the horizon is Richaun Holmes being traded. According to James Ham of The Kings Beat, the front office is open to trade offers for Holmes, Buddy Hield and Harrison Barnes.
If moved, Holmes represents an efficient, team-friendly option for buying teams. The 28-year-old center gets points both inside and outside, can put the ball on the floor and defend at a respectable level. He’s also in the first season of a four-year, $47 million deal.
Here are three ideal trade destinations for Richaun Holmes.
3. Richaun Holmes gives the Dallas Mavericks an inside threat
- Mavericks get: Richaun Holmes
- Kings get: Moses Brown, Josh Green and Dwight Powell
Dallas is probably going to do something before the NBA trade deadline. Maybe that move is getting a starting-caliber center and in doing so adding a new dimension to their offense?
The Mavericks have surrendered offense for defense under new head coach Jason Kidd. Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis consistently being healthy and on the floor together is vital. Having different offensive skill sets is paramount, too. Holmes gives the Mavericks more variety on offense.
The big man has a versatile offensive game and would likely be the team’s sixth or seventh man, playing roughly the same minutes he has with the Kings this season (26 minutes per game). Holmes becomes the Mavericks’ center when Porzingis comes off the floor, providing the second unit with a player they can lean on for scoring. If he hits the ground running, maybe Holmes finds his way on the floor at the end of games as the Mavericks pursue having five players on the floor who can create their own shot?
- Richaun Holmes stats (2021-22): 12.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game while shooting 70.5/50.0/79.1
Dallas can send Sacramento a pair of young players in Brown, who can be a steady, two-way center, and Green, a capable shooter. Powell would likely be rerouted. The Mavericks still have plenty of depth in the wake of this trade.
All that said, the Mavericks may prefer to keep future payroll down, as continually improving point guard Jalen Brunson hits the open market after this coming summer.
2. Richaun Holmes gives the Portland Trail Blazers a new center
- Trail Blazers get: Richaun Holmes
- Kings: Jusuf Nurkic
The Trail Blazers are in a holding pattern with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum (injuries and uncertain futures with the organization). That said, Holmes would be a savvy pickup for the Trail Blazers regardless of what the future holds for their star backcourt.
In the immediate future, Holmes gives head coach Chauncey Billups a more athletic and vibrant center. Holmes would be a secondary source of offense, of course, but one that complements developing players like Anfernee Simons and Nassir Little given the big man’s ability to interchangeably score inside and outside the paint.
In the scenario that the Trail Blazers blow it up, Holmes would be their starting center for the foreseeable future. They can cash in on Lillard and McCollum in trades and get a bunch of players and draft picks who primarily do business out on the perimeter. A player with Holmes’ skill set doesn’t get in the way of a rebuild. He enhances it.
- Richaun Holmes contract per Spotrac: first season of a four-year, $47 million deal
Portland can straight-up send Nurkic to Sacramento for Holmes. The Trail Blazers get a player who’s under contract for at least the next two and a half years, whereas the Kings see whether Nurkic’ inside game bodes well with De’Aaron Fox running the point. If it doesn’t work out, they at least open up some cap space.
The factor that could stop the Trail Blazers from making this trade, though, is them wanting to freeze any drastic trades until they make final decisions on Lillard and McCollum.
1. Richaun Holmes to the Oklahoma City Thunder
- Thunder get: Richaun Holmes
- Kings get: Isaiah Roby, Theo Maledon and Oklahoma City’s 2022 second-round draft pick
At some point, the Thunder have to turn their overwhelming quantity of draft picks and youngsters into star players. Acquiring Holmes would be an intermediate move that provides more short-term optimism and keeps the door open for blockbuster trades.
The perennial bright spots for the Thunder have come in their backcourt and out on the wing. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a well-rounded, impact player. Luguentz Dort is a sturdy scorer. Josh Giddey is a crafty passer who hits the boards at a high level. Holmes gives head coach Mark Daigneault another potential bright spot but on a different part of the floor.
Holmes would be their day one starting center. He gives Gilgeous-Alexander and Giddey a player who they can pass the ball to for an inside bucket. Having such an inside presence would help spread out defensive attention a bit, as opposing teams typically focus on Gilgeous-Alexander and keeping the ball-handler in front of them.
Oklahoma City sends Sacramento a pair of young players who would be instant rotation players in the athletic Roby and versatile Maledon. The upcoming second-rounder could become a rotation player, too, as the Thunder likely select in the early 30s.
When this trade is said and done, the Thunder still have cap space this upcoming offseason and don’t even surrender a first-rounder.