Sacramento Kings: Richaun Holmes re-signing the steal of the summer

Initially reported to be returning to the Sacramento Kings on a four-year, $55 million deal, fans lauded the decision to re-sign the energetic big man Richaun Holmes to a team-friendly deal. As it turns out, the official contract was even more team-friendly than we could have imagined.

The maximum Holmes could re-sign with the Kings for using his Early Bird Rights was actually only $46.5 million, so his annual salary will come out to even less for Sacramento. To compensate for this, the Kings converted the fourth year of the deal into a player option and tacked on a 15 percent trade kicker which would bring him closer to that $55 million in the event he is traded.

With such a moveable contract, it’s quite possible Holmes might eventually get that money too. If the Kings are looking to make a splash in the trade market sometime in the next three years, Holmes will be among their most valued assets due to the nature of this contract.

Keith Smith of Spotrac was the first to report the full financial details of Holmes’ new deal with the team.

Richaun Holmes’ re-negotiated contract of $46.5 million over four years puts the Sacramento Kings in a prime position to build a contender.

This means Holmes will be tied for the 115th highest-paid player in the NBA during the 2021-22 season, barring any more big free agent signings like Lauri Markkanen or Dennis Schroder. Holmes will also be the 18th highest-paid center when in reality he is outperforming his peers in the same pay range.

For instance, Holmes will be getting paid less than Dwight Powell, Kelly Olynyk, and Larry Nance Jr. this upcoming season despite averaging more points, rebounds, and blocks per game than all three. Holmes isn’t the greatest defender due to his lack of size, but certainly not for a lack of effort. If the Kings can find a defensively-minded big to pair with Holmes on the low block, the team will be much better for it.

Best of all, Sacramento can actually afford the pursuit of players to plug their holes and weaknesses now. The core four of De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, Davion Mitchell, and Holmes will cost a total of $47.1 million next season, which accounts for 41.9 percent of the salary cap. That leaves an enormous amount of room to figure out what to do with the rest of the roster and build a contender around the main core of players.

Whatever may be the result, there were long stretches last season where Holmes appeared to be the second-best player on the Sacramento Kings. This is a move that should please the fans and is hard to hate from a managerial perspective, keeping the team’s checkbooks open and maintaining flexibility for future decisions.