Richaun Holmes traded to Suns for cash considerations
After 3 seasons with Philadelphia, the team has decided to let Richaun Holmes go. In his three years with the 76ers he has provided energy and effort while averaging 7.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. The deal involves cash considerations from Phoenix in exchange for Holmes.
Despite the team missing out on shooting big man Nemanja Bjelica, Philadelphia has still decided to part ways with Holmes. Although the former Bowling Green Falcon has never been a great shooter, his athleticism and hustle on both ends of the court have been huge for the Sixers the past few seasons.
Cash considerations may or may not benefit the 76ers right now since they’ve lost out on key free agents this summer. It doesn’t make much sense to ship Holmes over to Phoenix after losing Bjelica. However, a recent signing of Jonah Bolden fixes that problem temporarily.
Most fans are not pleased about losing their high flying big man:
— Jordan Lawson (@darealjlaw) July 20, 2018
Bolden signs 4-year deal with Sixers
In 2017, the Sixers took a second-round flyer in UCLA big man Bolden. Although he spent time overseas and in the G-League, he is finally here to stay. The 76ers parted ways with Holmes and cleared space to sign Bolden to a 4-year contract. The deal is worth $7 million with the final two seasons as a team option.
This is a great start for Bolden in the NBA. He has the luxury of spending at least two seasons with the team, learning from Joel Embiid and improving his game. During the 2018 NBA Summer League, he made leaps in both his offensive and defensive game. In three games, he averaged 10 points and 5.3 rebounds. This is exactly what Philly needs this coming season.
At 6-foot-11, Bolden is a sturdy backup at center, especially with Embiid resting throughout the season. The Sixers have been lacking a shot-blocking backup center, and Embiid cannot play the entire game.
He will provide extremely valuable minutes off the bench, hopefully enough to get a better contract when his two seasons are up. If he can develop his shot anywhere close to the way Embiid has, the Sixers will have a great 1-2 punch at the center position.
The Australian big man received praise all over Twitter for being the next Australian NBA player:
Jonah Bolden has officially become Australia's newest NBA star, signing with the Philadelphia 76ers.
— 7Sport (@7Sport) July 20, 2018
Is Philly finally ready for the regular season?
After missing out on LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard, the Sixers are still in a great position to make the Eastern Conference Finals. Although trading the 10th pick in Mikal Bridges wasn’t the best move, this offseason might just pan out.
Zhaire Smith has the athleticism to make up for the loss of Holmes, and Bolden might prove to be a valuable backup. The 76ers could have used the defensive presence of Bridges, but they will just have to manage. The second unit is very interesting, especially with Markelle Fultz returning to collegiate form.
Head coach Brett Brown is going to have a serious task on his hands creating a second unit that can put points up on the board. Last season the 76ers filled up the 3-point column with a cast of shooters coming off the bench. Losing Marco Belinelli to the Spurs will definitely limit bench production. However, the young stars of the team are capable of picking up the slack.
Philadelphia seems ready to take on the regular season, despite questions about the second rotation. Coach Brown has kept the team rolling smoothly, and with this exciting cast of young talent, there is no limit for the City of Brotherly Love.
Featured Image: Keith Allison via Flickr
Stats via basketball-reference.com