Sacramento Kings: Richaun Holmes was the best thing about this season

Sacramento Kings, Richaun Holmes (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings, Richaun Holmes (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images) /

Richaun Holmes was the best thing about the Sacramento Kings this season.

Richaun Holmes was the most positive addition to the Sacramento Kings this year, finally giving fans a center they can watch without spiraling into despair.

It’s been a long and tumultuous time since the Kings sent DeMarcus Cousins away to New Orleans and in the time since, they have been subject to both unskilled and unwilling replacements. With the arrival of Holmes, the Kings have been rejuvenated on both ends of the court.

Richaun Holmes’ defense

In the 2018-2019 season with Willie Cauley-Stein as the starting center, the Kings were an absolute liability on the inside. Although Cauley-Stein had good size and athleticism for the position, he very rarely used it.

He would often get outplayed by his opponents, especially against those high energy guys like Montrezl Harrell. In the 2018-19 season, Cauley-Stein matched up with Harrell on four occasions, with the Kings losing each encounter.

Harrell absolutely dominated the interior and showed how much of a liability Cauley-Stein is as a paint defender. Harrell averaged 21 points per game, shooting an astounding 70 percent from the field in the series — his highest score against any center in the league.

Since the arrival of Richaun Holmes, it has been an entirely different story. After coach Luke Walton announced Holmes would be taking over the starting position, he has increased his productivity substantially.

In the rebounding department, Holmes has doubled his numbers from the previous season, pulling down 8 boards per game. His defensive efficiency has been huge too, with many opposing big men struggling to score against him, unlike his predecessor.

To put it in perspective, last season only two players managed to average 12.0 points per game when matched up with Holmes — the rest tallied in the single figures.

While Holmes has been praised for his energy and willingness to put his body on the line, his game is so much more.

Richaun Holmes’ defense

Holmes came to the Kings’ squad as an energy guy, originally destined to come off the bench behind Dewayne Dedmon — that was until we got to see what Holmes was really about.

Offensively, Holmes has been the perfect fit, averaging a career-high 12.0 points per game while showing consistency, regardless of the opposition.

The center position has been a bit of a black hole offensively in the last few years, but Holmes has changed this. He is consistently amongst the highest percentage of scorers in the league, shooting just under 65 percent from the field.

While big men generally have a high field-goal percentage due to easy close-range shots, Holmes was not merely a dunker. Upon receiving the ball in the paint, whether off a pick and roll or a post up feed, Holmes was able to score efficiently from the edge of the paint with this delicate wee floater.

While it looked like a hail-mary shot early in the season, Holmes’ willingness to use finesse over strength in these situations shows how much more there is to his game then just ‘the energy guy.’

Yes he can dunk, yes he can rebound, but he also has an abundance of skill which when utilized correctly can be devastating, especially against the bigger, slower centers.

Oh, and did I mention he also shot 80 percent from the free-throw line?

Richaun Holmes has been a star for this Kings team and is shaping up to be the center of the future. Signed on until the end of the 2021 season at just over $5 million is almost disrespectful for what you get out of him.

But it’s about time the Kings’ front office made a winning play, even if the original plan was to have Dedmon in that starting role.

dark. Next. Sacramento Kings: Have we seen the last of Buddy Hield in Sacramento?

Sometimes you need a bit of luck and Holmes has been that lucky charm for the Kings this year.