In his last handful of appearances, Richaun Holmes has rejuvenated himself, showing to the Kings, the league, and himself that he still belongs in the NBA.
For one, that boosts the possibility that he can follow through and be the backup center Sacramento hoped he could be. However, even if that’s not the case–and the odds of that happening are considerably lower now than when training camp was happening–his previous week or so nevertheless did wonders for his value.
His start in Los Angeles last Wednesday in particular highlighted the fact this guy can still be a productive starting center in this league. In other words, after an uncertain period, Holmes’ value is on the rise with less than two weeks before February 9’s trade deadline.
In his last 4 appearances, he’s averaging 7.3 points on 85.7% shooting with 4.0 rebounds in about 13.5 minutes per contest.
With rising stock, it’s no wonder teams around the league would want to try and lower that value.
Marc Stein reported this week that teams around the league that are “in need of size are monitoring Kings center Richaun Holmes as a potential buyout candidate in the event that Sacramento is unable to trade him before the deadline.”
Will the Kings come to an agreement with Holmes to buyout his contract?
No. It makes no sense to at this point. Maybe if the outlook on moving him is nearly impossible come this offseason, but midseason? There’s just no way.
A buyout, of course, is a mutual agreement between the team and player that the organization will pay a certain sum in exchange for terminating the current contract. That way, the player can receive the freedom to negotiate with other teams while the organization saves some money (though, it does not exterminate the cap hit).
The Kings are extremely unlikely to cut Holmes free like that.
However, this report from Stein does seem to indicate that teams certainly have an interest in acquiring Holmes, which was not always regarded as a legitimate possibility when he was really struggling earlier in the season.
Similar to this news, it was also noted this week that rival executives are apparently worried about Jae Crowder’s conditioning. More specifically, it noted the concern with the player’s ability to help teams out.
Now, game shape is definitely a thing, but the idea that Crowder would need a large and unsustainable amount of time to acclimate to playing in a game again is a blatant exaggeration. And of course, contrary to the concern, he would certainly help teams out down the stretch.
Really, the report seemed to just illustrate the frustration with Phoenix’s asking price for the disgruntled small forward, which has played into why nothing has emerged on that front up to this point.
And the Holmes “report” feels like its trying to do the same thing. The attempt being to try and feign falling interest in a particular asset so as to gain some leverage by possibly cranking up any potential desperation to move that piece.
And that’s the problem for these executives. While Holmes’ recent play increased his value in the eyes of other teams, it also shows that the Kings could potentially make use of him, thus limiting the level of urgency to get something done.
Of course, it really appears the idea is and has been to find a way to move Holmes–and moreover, find a consistent guy to hold down the backup 5–but if that can’t happen, it’s not like Sacramento will cut the starting caliber center loose for other teams to court midseason. This is a business and that would be nothing but monkey business.
Again, though, when these kinds of reports come out, it seems to point to something else at play. Whatever it is exactly, a fair takeaway here is that the chattering surrounding a Richaun Holmes deal is more than present. And as January winds down, it has to be ramping up, especially with the center’s recent play, which served as an adequate advertisement.
Richaun Holmes very well could don another jersey by the end of the deadline, but it won’t be because he and the Sacramento Kings agreed to a buyout of his contract.