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Report: Suns free agent C Richaun Holmes to sign with Kings

Phoenix Suns forward Richaun Holmes, right, shoots as Portland Trail Blazers guard Seth Curry, left, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Saturday, March 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)

Phoenix Suns free agent center Richaun Holmes has agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal to join the Sacramento Kings, reports The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The 25-year-old big man enjoyed his most productive NBA season in 2018-19 after the Suns acquired him in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers last offseason. He averaged 8.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game despite playing just 17 minutes a night.

Holmes shot 61% from the floor as an athletic roll man and appeared in 70 games, both of which were career highs.

He meshed well with rookie and No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton in the locker room and for brief stints appeared as the Suns’ best player in the midst of a 19-win campaign. Phoenix, however, appeared to have moved on from Holmes when it traded a 2020-first-round pick (via the Bucks) for the No. 24 pick that became Ty Jerome and backup center Aron Baynes on draft night, a deal that is expected to become official on July 6.

While Baynes’ $5.5 million deal is larger than Holmes’ at this point, it is expiring after the 2019-20 season. That deal and the Suns’ other draft-day trade shedding T.J. Warren’s long-term contract will give them much more cap flexibility come next offseason.

Despite a strong season, Holmes was a victim of a free agency market that quickly dried up after a furious first 18 hours.

For the Kings, Holmes joins a team that could lose Willie Cauley-Stein in free agency. Sacramento has meanwhile attempted to add veterans around a young core of De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley this offseason. The Kings so far have re-signed small forward Harrison Barnes and added veterans Cory Joseph, Trevor Ariza and Dewayne Dedmon.

The Suns have now lost two free agents to fellow Pacific Division teams after Holmes’ agreement with Sacramento and guard Troy Daniels’ deal to join the Los Angeles Lakers.

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