In the 2018-19 season, Richaun Holmes was nothing more than a solid backup big for the Suns. In 70 games (4 starts), he put up 8 points and 5 rebounds per game while shooting 61% from the field.
However, in NBA2K19, he played like prime Shaq or something. He grabbed every rebound and dunked every putback. It was annoying to play against because he wasn’t actually that good at the time.
Nowadays, although he obviously isn’t prime Shaq, Richaun Holmes has quietly become a guy who should be in the top 10 center conversation.
Notice how I said should be and not is? Despite how well he’s been playing over the last couple of seasons (especially this year), Richaun doesn’t get the attention he deserves (likely because he plays in Sacramento).
Today, I’m going to wake some people up and show them how Richaun Holmes is push-shotting his way into the top 10 center list.
If you’ve watched a Kings game before, you’ve probably seen Richaun take (and make) a shot like this:
He’s good for a few of those per game. One-hand pushing the ball into the hoop from 10-15 feet away takes a lot of touch, and most big guys in the league don’t have that.
That shot is super efficient for Richaun. In the 2020-21 season, he took a fourth of his shots from 10-16 feet and made 62% of them. His numbers from that range so far this season are almost identical.
Just because Richaun loves that push shot, doesn’t mean he shys away from contact. He gets buckets using brute force.
Although his offensive game is very traditional for a center, he’s extremely effective. He was second in the league in FG% in 2021, shooting 64%. So far this season, he’s shooting 69%.
Richaun’s offensive impact isn’t limited to push shots. He’s averaging 5.6 screen assists, which is 6th in the league. He’s also excellent at the free-throw line for a big, shooting around 80% over the last three seasons.
Richaun also protects the paint. Over his three seasons with the Kings, he’s averaging 1.4 blocks per game.
Here he stops Jordan Clarkson’s drive and then swats Rudy Gobert’s layup attempt.
At the end of the 2021 season, I ranked Richaun as the 88th best player in the league and the 16th best center. If he keeps playing like he has, he’ll be much higher on both lists at the end of the year.
He’s averaging 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 1 block across his first 9 games, and he’s top 5 in the league in FG%. He put up dominant numbers in a blowout win against the Hornets, posting 23 points and 20 rebounds. You can’t ask for much more from your starting center.
I understand if you don’t want to watch a Kings game. They usually aren’t doing anything crazy, especially with De’Aaron Fox struggling so far. However, you should keep an eye on Richaun Holmes because he’s coming for a spot in the top 10 center list. Don’t sleep.