5. Richaun Holmes, C, Sacramento Kings – 2 years, $9.7 million.
The amount of productivity Richaun Holmes has brought to the table has well-exceeded expectations, thus securing his spot as this season’s best free-agent signing.
Coming into this year, fans knew Holmes has an energy guy who has terrorized former Kings centers for years but little did they know he had a lot more to offer.
Originally signed as Dewayne Dedmon’s backup, it became abundantly clear that Holmes was no one’s backup. 12.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game is great but by no means all he contributes.
Holmes played every game he could with the utmost passion and dedication to the team. Not one for taking nights off, Holmes would’ve played 48 minutes a game if he was allowed to.
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His contagious energy was a huge momentum swinger, especially on 50/50 plays. Getting those tough shots to go down or pulling in a vital rebound at the end of a game is why Holmes gets out of bed in the morning.
Its been a long time since the Kings have had a player like Holmes and an even longer time since they’ve won a contract negotiation — with this signing they have done both.
You could call it a fluke considering no one expected this from Holmes, but his contract is dirt cheap. Signed on for two years at just over $4.5 million per year is criminal, I would feel bad for him if I wasn’t so elated.
Holmes is the last person who is going to worry about being ‘underpaid’. He loves Sacramento and is incredibly grateful to be in the position he is as the starting center. The only mark against him was that he played only 44 games due to injury.
Interchanging his skillset with Harry Giles off the bench was a pleasure to watch this year and I look forward to more of the same next season.