Over the next couple of weeks we will evaluate the Sixers' roster following the 10-72 season. Next up is Richaun Holmes.
Status: Under contract for 2016-17 at $1,025,831
When Sixers pulled off an upset over the Trail Blazers on Jan. 16 in Philadelphia, Holmes was a key contributor in the lopsided 114-89 win.
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Holmes played 27 minutes off the bench. He scored 17 points, shooting 5 for 9 from the floor and 6 for 7 from the line, career highs in both free throws attempted and made. Holmes also pulled down six rebounds, dished three assists and blocked a shot. He was second on the team behind Jahlil Okafor in scoring and rebounding in this game.
Holmes scored a career-high 18 points in Dec. 28 loss to the Jazz, but given his performance against the Trail Blazers resulted in an unlikely win, this game gets the nod for signature of the season.
Holmes in 2015-16
The Sixers drafted Holmes out of Bowling Green with the 37th pick last summer. His rookie season was strained - literally - by injuries. Holmes missed nine games in November after straining his right hamstring. In early February, he sprained his right ankle during a scrimmage. Fast forward to March 12, and he suffered a right Achilles strain against the Nets which sidelined him for six games. Holmes returned to action March 23, but his season was cut short in the following contest on March 26. He once again experienced a right Achilles strain against the Trail Blazers and missed the final nine games.
In spite of his long list of injuries, Holmes appeared in 51 games this season, averaging 5.6 points (51.4 percent from the floor), 2.6 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 13.8 minutes. When the often-shorthanded Sixers had enough big bodies, Holmes would find himself alternating minutes with Carl Landry. In spite of the inconsistent playing time, Holmes made an impression with his preparation and ability to contribute when his name was called.
Holmes has already made a positive impression on Brett Brown. During his stretches of being sidelined, Brown often commented on how the team missed Holmes' presence and rebounding. The 22-year-old made a commitment to his career by slashing his body fat, participating in off-day workouts with low-minute players and scheduling workouts while he vacationed in Miami during the All-Star Break.
There were many points this season when the Sixers did not have enough minutes to go around the frontcourt. The situation could get even more crowded if Joel Embiid and Dario Saric play. Holmes, though, could carve out a place for himself by continuing to come in off the bench and contribute with the fundamentals he showed at the basket. Brown also would like him to expand his three-point range (he shot 18.2 percent from three) to expand his stretch game. Health will be a key factor in his development.
On Richaun Holmes
"He's another disappointing part of this injury thing that we went through. I was looking forward to playing him more and letting him coexist with Nerlens (Noel). He plays with an edge. He's really got a toughness and sort of a grumpy side of him that I love. ... He's one of our most tenacious offensive rebounders. I think his future is going to be based on his three-point shot a lot. ... I just feel like what we've seen, albeit in a small sample size, you'd be I don't think telling the truth if you didn't feel excited about the little bits of time that we did see him." - Brett Brown