Richaun Holmes is a strange fit. He’s listed at 6’10” but is more likely 6’9”ish, but plays center (though he started at the 4 last night). He’s got a very weird looking jumper that doesn’t fall often. And for a shot blocking force, he suffers from defensive lapses a little too often. But he’s a hustle player in every sense of the word, and recently has been showing the Sixers that he should be playing a lot more.
Richaun’s 7.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and .5 blocks per game on the year are nothing to write home about in the 13 of the team’s 27 games Richaun has played in. But in the minutes he’s played, he’s made the most of them. While Amir Johnson is playing well in the backup-5 role, the Sixers are starting to look at Richaun at the 4. His lack of shooting range doesn’t do a lot for his value, but he does everything he can to make up for that.
To equal things with players who are getting minutes that Richaun isn’t, I looked at per-36 numbers. On the season, Richaun is averaging 16.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 1 block on 54.4% shooting for every 36 minutes he plays. Here are the players, who’ve played at least 200 minutes (Richaun is at 202), averaging at least 16, 10, and a block on 54% shooting (small-ish sample size alert for Holmes):
That's not to say he's in the class with those players. I guess technically he is, but he's at the bottom of the class, since I set the cut-offs right below Holmes' numbers. However, among those players he's 7th in rebounds. He's also second among those players in fouls per-36 with 5.5 (three players average 5.7).
You know what you’re getting with Richaun: Putbacks, oops, thunderous under-the-rim dunks, some defensive lapses, a solid rebounder, and a skilled if undersized shot-blocker. He’s averaging 16 minutes per game this season, which is right around his career average.
In games where he’s played fewer than 20 minutes on his career, he’s averaging 15.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per-36, while shooting 54.7% from the floor. In games of more than 20 minutes, those numbers move to 16.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 53.7% from the floor. Outside of the rebound number, those stats are near-identical. Consistency is key. Plus, and I cannot stress this enough, he’s just so damn FUN to watch (these are all just from the last handful of games):
Richaun’s willingness to accept the role he’s given - as far as we can see - is one of his greatest assets. When he hits the floor, he shows up (unlike some other people we used to know). He’s not slacking off due to a lack of playing time, but fighting for everything he can while on the floor. In doing so, he’s making it hard to keep him on the bench.
Next season the Sixers have a team option on Holmes worth $1,600,520. The year after, his 26-year-old season, he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent. A lot can be argued about Holmes’ upside, but when you can throw him on the floor and know exactly what he gives you, while playing with heart, fire, and energy, you might have to start thinking about that new contract.