Grade the Trade: Mavericks grab new center and defensive specialist

Charlotte Hornets v Sacramento Kings
Charlotte Hornets v Sacramento Kings / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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Grading the trade for the Sacramento Kings

This trade gives the Kings tons of flexibility in free agency and allowed them to shed a bad contract.

Richaun Holmes was once their starting center and gave them valuable minutes. After they traded for Damantas Sabonis, things became different. Holmes wasn't playing nearly as much, and they didn't need him.

He went from averaging 14.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game as the full-time starter in the 2020-2021 season to averaging just 3.1 points on 8.3 minutes per game last season. Holmes also didn't touch the floor during the Kings' first-round series against the Warriors.

He was set to make just under $25 million over the next two seasons, and it was in the Kings' best interest to trade him. Now they can add a backup center in free agency for much cheaper.

Although the Kings had to give up the 24th overall pick while shedding his contract, it was worth it for them. They now have plenty of cap space to pursue free agents on the open market and not be limited once the new CBA hits.

Potential starting lineup: De'Aaron Fox, Kevin Huerter, Keegan Murray, Damantas Sabonis, Unknown free agent

Sacramento gets a B+ for this trade because they shed a bad contract, giving them plenty of cap space. They shed that contract at the cost of a first-round pick, which is valuable in the NBA, and that's why they didn't get an A.

Shed bad contract, gained cap space. Gave up first-round pick. Sacramento Kings. sac grade. B+