The Kings want to avoid a step back.
Which meant finding a way to keep starting center Richaun Holmes despite salary-cap limitations.
And re-signing Maurice Harkless and signing Alex Len.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Free agent center Richaun Holmes has agreed to a four-year deal worth as much as $55 million to return to the Sacramento Kings, his agency Par-Lay Sports & Entertainment (@parlay_se) tells @TheAthletic @Stadium. Deal includes player option and trade kicker.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 3, 2021
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 2, 2021
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Free agent F Moe Harkless has agreed to a two-year, $9M deal with the Sacramento Kings, agent Nima Namakian of @InnovateSports tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 2, 2021
Unless the Kings are making significant other moves to clear cap space, this is such a misrepresentation of Holmes’ deal. The largest contract Holmes can sign through the Early Bird Exception is four years, $46,522,560 (including base salary and incentives).
The gambit appears to be including the trade kicker, which Holmes would receive only if traded (“worth as much as”). Not only is that misleading, the most Holmes could get with the trade kicker is $52,713,154. That’s especially favorable rounding.
The amount also decreases each day of the season Holmes remains with Sacramento after Jan. 15, the first day he can be traded.
An active defender and rebounder and efficient paint scorer, the 27-year-old Holmes appeared likely to get bigger contracts elsewhere. It’s a boon for Sacramento get him back so cheap.
The Kings trading for Tristan Thompson gave the impression they’d lose Holmes. Now, Sacramento is overloaded at center with Holmes, Thompson, Len and Marvin Bagley III. Even if Bagley plays power forward (or small forward) or gets traded, that’s still a crowd.
Harkless apparently impressed Sacramento after coming as matching salary in a pre-deadline trade last season. He’s a versatile defensive forward, though he’s limited offensively.