San Antonio Spurs Free Agency

Is Richaun Holmes the answer for the Spurs at center?

Richaun Holmes, DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl
Richaun Holmes, DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl / Ronald Cortes/Getty Images
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San Antonio Spurs
Richaun Holmes / Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

Richaun Holmes will make the offense flow easier for the San Antonio Spurs

During the course of his 61 games for the Sacramento Kings, Holmes proved his worth as a reliable offensive scorer who knows his strengths and strays away from his weaknesses. He was one of the game’s most efficient paint scorers utilizing both hands to score under the rim or elevate for a dunk.

Pick-and-roll playmaking is essential for a team like San Antonio that has effective drivers throughout the guard rotation. He’s an excellent complement to any ball-handler who likes to put pressure on the rim, which makes perfect sense alongside Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Lonnie Walker.

Holmes ranked in the 83rd percentile as a roll-man this season and shot 64.2 percent on those attempts. His 1.30 points per possession as a roll man ranks fourth amongst players with at least 2.5 possessions per game. He’s excellent at reading coverage and positioning himself in the best spot to score.

There’s no doubt that he can roll hard to the rim and create plays under the basket, but he also has a unique skill-set that forces rim protectors out from under the basket. There’s a case to be made that Holmes would possess the Spurs’ best floater since Tony Parker. It’s a go-to shot for him that makes him a sure-fire bucket while in the paint, but outside of the restricted area.

Of 20 players who averaged at least two shots inside the paint, but outside of the restricted area last season, he was the most efficient scorer at 58 percent. He times his rolls so that help defense from rim protectors is drawn away from the basket. This means that he draws attention away from the rim, opening up scoring opportunities for his teammates at the cup.

He gave fits to Rudy Gobert during a matchup with the league-leading Utah Jazz in April, scoring 25 points while drawing the former Defensive Player of the Year away from the rim. This is an untraditional yet impactful version of floor spacing that isn’t taken advantage of quite enough.

Additionally, Holmes isn’t afraid to do the dirty work. He fights hard on the offensive glass, connecting on 58.7 percent of his putback attempts while leading Sacramento in rebounds, box-outs, screen assists and double-doubles last year. Effectively, Holmes knows how to use his skill-set to make the game easier for everyone else while meticulously picking and choosing when to assert himself as a scorer.

His offensive repertoire would surely help the San Antonio Spurs gain consistency with their scoring while making the game just a bit easier for the aforementioned guard trio.