Richaun Holmes

Wizards Notes: Bagley, Holmes, Vukcevic, Future In D.C.

It’s been a season of change for Marvin Bagley III, and it didn’t stop with the January 14 trade that sent him from Detroit to the Wizards, writes Chase Hughes of Monumental Sports Network. Bagley was brought in to be the primary backup to Daniel Gafford, but he moved into a starting role when Gafford got injured. Washington sent Gafford to Dallas at the trade deadline for Richaun Holmes, who took over as the starter, but his recent absence due to a left toe contusion put Bagley back in the starting lineup.

“I’m comfortable now. I think the first few weeks it took me to kind of figure out what guys like to do out there on the court, how guys play a little bit. But now I have a pretty good idea of that, just watching film and playing how many games I’ve played here,” Bagley said. “But just every game figuring it out and I think now I’m at the point where I know what guys like to do, where they like to be out there. I’m just trying to make it easier for them and they make it a lot easier for me. It’s just getting that chemistry together.”

Bagley hasn’t enjoyed much stability in his career, but with one year left on his contract he appears to be a fixture in Washington for at least for another season. The Wizards are happy with the Bagley-Holmes combination, according to Hughes, because they’re similar players who can rebound and be effective in the pick-and-roll. Bagley enjoys being in Washington and believes the experiences he’s had in his career can help him guide younger players.

“I try to be a leader and lead by example,” he said. “I think it’s good to have vets like that in the locker room.”

There’s more on the Wizards:

  • Bagley won’t need surgery after leaving Tuesday’s game with an injury to his right knee, a team official tells Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter link). Bagley has been diagnosed with a sprain, and interim coach Brian Keefe said he’ll be reevaluated “week to week,” which virtually assures that his season is over.
  • With Bagley and Holmes both sidelined, rookie Tristan Vukcevic is making his first NBA start tonight against the Lakers, Robbins tweets. This is just the seventh NBA game for Vukcevic, who signed with the Wizards last month after spending most of the season with KK Partizan in Serbia.
  • It’s been a difficult season for the Wizards, but Tuesday’s win over Milwaukee provides a reason for optimism, Robbins notes in a full story. Washington was able to hold on for a victory against one of the league’s best teams even though it was down to eight healthy players after Bagley left in the second quarter. “It’s a step forward, maybe two steps forward,” Corey Kispert said. “This is the attitude we need to have and the aggression we need to have when we play these kind of games, especially against a championship team like this. Super proud of everybody who played tonight.”
  • David Aldridge of The Athletic examines the future for the Wizards and the NHL’s Capitals in Washington after owner Ted Leonsis‘ plan to move both franchises to Virginia fell apart.

Wizards Notes: Kuzma, Gafford, Jones, Holmes, Arena Battle

After previously reporting that the Wizards nearly traded Kyle Kuzma to Dallas at last week’s deadline, Josh Robbins of The Athletic says head of basketball operations Michael Winger actually informed the forward that the general framework of a deal sending him to the Mavericks was in place. Winger didn’t necessarily love the return, so when Kuzma told him he’d prefer to stay in D.C., the Wizards decided not to move forward with it.

“There was a point in time, Dallas, they definitely did want me,” Kuzma told Robbins. “Winger presented me with what the trade was and obviously didn’t want to trade me and kind of left the decision up to me a little bit and asked me what I wanted to do. I told him I wanted to stay and continue to build something. And that was kind of the end of it.”

“… In my career, I won a championship,” Kuzma said in explaining why he opted against being traded to the Mavericks. “So, I understand that when we play this game of basketball it’s not about contending for a playoff spot. It’s about contending for an NBA championship. There’s only like three or four contenders — true contenders. I just felt like our timelines didn’t line up.”

As Robbins explains, Kuzma’s contract doesn’t include a no-trade clause, but the Wizards pledged to him and agent Austin Brown when re-signing him last offseason that unless they got a trade offer too good to refuse, they’d listen to his input when considering whether to move him. It’s unclear what the Mavericks offered for Kuzma, but it clearly didn’t blow Washington’s front office away.

“Kyle’s an important player for us and (a) significant contributor to our developing culture,” Winger told Robbins. “His commitment is necessary for us to achieve our competitive and environmental objectives. Under the circumstances, I wanted to check in with his belief to continue leading us. He reemphasized his desire to forge ahead, and we’re honored to have him.”

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • After failing to agree to terms on a Kuzma deal, the Wizards and Mavericks pivoted in their discussions and completed a trade sending Daniel Gafford to Dallas. The big man scored 16 points and matched a career-high with 17 rebounds in a victory for his new team over his old one on Monday, writes Ava Wallace of The Washington Post. “Gaff’s got the easiest job in sports now,” Kuzma joked after the game. “Everybody’s just going to double (Luka Doncic), he’s going to catch the ball in the middle of the key, and he’s just got to make the right play, either pass it or dunk it. 16 and 17 in 24 minutes, that’s tough. That’s tough. Happy for him, very happy for him.”
  • As with Kuzma and his representatives, the Wizards had ongoing conversations with Tyus Jones and his agent Kevin Bradbury in the days leading up to last Thursday’s deadline about possible trades, according to Robbins. Jones said he appreciated the “open and honest” approach from the franchise, which reportedly has interest in re-signing him this summer. “I take a tremendous pride in being a leader in this locker room and being a leader on this team and for this organization,” Jones said. “So, for the front office to continue to trust in me and believe in me, I appreciate that, and we’re going to continue to take steps forward here.”
  • Richaun Holmes, traded from Dallas to Washington in the Gafford deal, made his Wizards debut on Monday against his old team, scoring 10 points in 13 minutes. He spoke over the weekend about what he’ll bring to D.C., as Chase Hughes of the Monumental Sports Network relays. “Just toughness, especially on the interior,” Holmes said. “Whether that’s rebounding or scoring, protecting the paint. Trying to bring toughness and camaraderie. Talk to those guys, help them on the backline on defense as well as freeing them up with screens on offense, rolling to the rim and finishing.”
  • The Wizards’ plans to build a new arena in Alexandria, Virgina have hit a snag, according to reports from Sarah Rankin of The Associated Press and Laura Vozzella and Meagan Flynn of The Washington Post. Senator L. Louise Lucas said on Monday that she has serious concerns about the public financing involved in the proposed deal and considers the bill “dead,” while D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser reiterated that she intends to enforce the Wizards’ lease agreement with Capital One Arena in Washington.

Wizards Trade Daniel Gafford To Mavericks

7:12pm: The trade sending Gafford to the Mavericks in exchange for Holmes and a 2024 first-round pick is official, the Wizards announced in a press release.

Washington will be receiving the second-least favorable of the Thunder’s, Clippers’, Rockets’ (top-four protected), and Jazz’s (top-10 protected) 2024 first-rounders.

12:11pm: The Mavericks will be acquiring the Thunder’s second-least favorable 2024 first-round pick in order to reroute it to the Wizards, reports Stein (Twitter link). Details on that separate deal can be found right here.

10:25am: The Mavericks are nearing a deal to acquire Daniel Gafford from the Wizards in exchange for Richaun Holmes and draft picks, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Dallas has been in the market for another big man and lands a reliable rim protector in Gafford, who has been Washington’s starting center for the better part of the last three seasons. The 25-year-old is posting career highs across the board with 10.9 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.2 blocks through 45 games.

Gafford is under contract on a team-friendly deal at $12.4MM this season, $13.4MM next season and $14.4MM for 2025/26. He will fortify the Mavericks’ front court and will likely split time at center with rookie Dereck Lively II.

Holmes, 30, was acquired from the Kings last offseason but never established himself as part of the Mavs’ rotation. He appeared in 23 games, starting two, and averaged 3.4 points and 3.4 rebounds in 10.3 minutes per night. He’s making $12MM this year and holds a $12.9MM player option for next season.

The Mavericks are trying to acquire draft assets from other teams so they can send them to Washington to complete the trade, sources tell Marc Stein (Twitter link). Stein adds that Dallas is close to a deal with the Thunder for draft compensation that will be relayed to the Wizards (Twitter link).

Mavs Acquire 2024 First-Round Pick From Thunder For 2028 Swap

The Mavericks have acquired a 2024 first-round pick from the Thunder in exchange for a future draft pick swap, both teams announced today. Oklahoma City will have the ability to swap its own 2028 first-round selection for Dallas’ ’28 first-rounder.

The Mavs, in turn, will flip that newly acquired ’24 first-round pick to the Wizards in the Daniel Gafford/Richaun Holmes trade, as was previously reported.

The pick that will head to Washington by way of Dallas will be the second-least favorable of the Clippers’, Thunder’s, Rockets’, and Jazz’s 2024 first-rounders.

The Thunder projected to have multiple picks in the first round of the 2024 draft and were unlikely to use them all, so they’ll push one of those assets down the road, betting on their odds to place ahead of the Mavs in the standings in 2028 and take advantage of that swap.

Conversely, the 2024 first-round pick is more valuable to the Wizards than a 2028 swap would have been, since they’re in the rebuilding process and want to add young talent sooner rather than later.

Scotto’s Latest: Mavs, Washington, Grimes, Pacers, Hornets, Hyland, More

The Mavericks and Hornets have discussed various P.J. Washington trade concepts that include a future first-round pick from Dallas, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

According to Scotto, if Charlotte is going to agree to take back Richaun Holmes, who holds a $12.9MM player option for next season, in exchange for Washington, the Hornets want that Dallas first-rounder to be unprotected. The Mavs have resisted that idea so far, Scotto writes, adding that Seth Curry has also been part of those trade discussions between the two teams.

While Scotto doesn’t say that Grant Williams has come up in the trade talks between the Mavs and Hornets, he suggests it wouldn’t be a surprise if that’s the case, since Dallas has talked about Williams with multiple teams already.

In addition to Washington, the Mavs have expressed interest in Raptors wing Bruce Brown and Knicks wing Quentin Grimes, among others, Scotto reports. League sources tell HoopsHype that Dallas explored acquiring Grimes in exchange for a package headlined by Josh Green, but New York turned down the proposal.

Here’s more from Scotto, with just hours to go until Thursday’s trade deadline:

  • Although Buddy Hield is considered Indiana’s top trade candidate, rival executives think the Pacers might move some of their frontcourt depth, with Obi Toppin and Jalen Smith among the players believed to be available, Scotto writes. Lottery pick Jarace Walker, on the other hand, remains off limits based on what the Pacers are telling other clubs, league sources tell HoopsHype.
  • The Hornets have expressed interest in Bones Hyland, according to Scotto, who says the Clippers are seeking a pair of second-round picks in exchange for the third-year guard.
  • Despite some speculation that the Nets are interested in D’Angelo Russell, Brooklyn hasn’t had any “substantive” talks with the Lakers and/or Hawks about getting involved in a potential Dejounte Murray trade to acquire Russell, Scotto reports.
  • The Pistons and Grizzlies continue to talk about a possible Killian Hayes trade, with second-round draft compensation serving as the sticking point, per Scotto.

Southwest Notes: Mavs, Pelicans, Murphy, Eason, Rockets

The Mavericks had a couple of frontcourt rotation players go down with ankle injuries in Wednesday’s blowout victory over Portland, as Dereck Lively sprained his left ankle in the third quarter and Grant Williams sprained his right in the fourth, writes Shawn McFarland of The Dallas Morning News. Neither player returned to the game.

However, head coach Jason Kidd said after the game that the two sprains were “mild,” tweets ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, and on Thursday, both players were listed as questionable for Friday’s rematch with Portland (Twitter link via Mavs play-by-play announcer Mark Followill). Dante Exum (right heel contusion) and Richaun Holmes (personal reasons) are doubtful.

Here’s more from the Southwest:

  • Instead of folding after being blown out by the Lakers during the in-season tournament, the Pelicans have played their best basketball of the season over the past few weeks, going 9-3, including seven double-digit wins, per William Guillory of The Athletic. As Guillory writes, Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson playing selflessly and “doing the little things” has contributed to the team’s success, as has CJ McCollum adapting to a more spot-up role while being a locker room leader.
  • Pelicans guard/forward Trey Murphy is still considered day-to-day after missing the past three games with left knee soreness, head coach Willie Green said on Thursday (Twitter link via Christian Clark of Murphy is questionable for Friday’s matchup with the Clippers, Clark tweets. It’s worth noting that the third-year wing had left knee surgery to repair his meniscus in September.
  • Second-year Rockets forward Tari Eason has drawn praise from head coach Ime Udoka and has been very impactful when he’s able to suit up lately, but the stress reaction he suffered in his left leg during preseason continues to be an issue, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscriber link), who notes that rookies Amen Thompson and Cam Whitmore have gotten more playing time when Eason is out. “It’s day-to-day at this point,” Udoka said of Eason. “He might have reaggravated here and there. It acts up a little bit. So continue to monitor it, but it’s something we’re going to deal with for a while. He’s been getting looked at, checked out, a ton of treatment, rehab. Rest is good for it, has been. On those games he’s played back-to-back, had to limit his minutes. The games we had days off in between, we were capping him at 25. We’d obviously like to play him more when he’s playing really well.”

Texas Notes: Holmes, Mavs, Rockets, Sochan

Mavericks reserve center Richaun Holmes, playing over Dwight Powell with rookie starter Dereck Lively II hurt, made an impact in his first real rotation minutes this year, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. Lively is dealing with a lower back contusion.

Across 23 minutes in a 104-101 win over the Lakers, Holmes notched 10 rebounds, four points and a block. The 6’10” big man had suited up for a total of 30 minutes across the last five games he had played for Dallas.

“I’m prepared to do whatever the team needs,” Holmes said. “Hopefully Dereck gets back quick. He’s young. It feels like he’s already bouncing around after a hard fall like that, like he’s feeling pretty good… So hopefully he doesn’t miss too much time, but whatever the team needs, I’ll be ready.”

Holmes, 30, currently has two years and $24.9MM remaining on his current contract. He holds a player option for next season.

There’s more out of the Lone Star State:

  • The Mavericks’ 107-88 blowout loss to the Clippers last night serves as further evidence that the club needs more out of its non-All-Star players, Townsend writes in another piece. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving were the only Dallas players who connected on their field goal tries until 19 minutes into the game. John Hollinger of The Athletic tweets another damning stat about the Mavs’ supporting cast Saturday, noting that, prior to head coach Jason Kidd putting in subs with the game out of hand in the fourth quarter, only two Mavericks buckets were not scored or assisted by the club’s backcourt stars.
  • The 8-6 Rockets have enjoyed an ascendant start to their 2023/24 season, and it all started on the defensive side of the floor. Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle details how Houston has developed the league’s top-ranked defense so far this year. A big hallmark of the Rockets’ approach is avoiding help defense except in the case of major mismatches, and being open to switching everywhere.
  • Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has seen strides in Jeremy Sochan‘s development as a play-maker after shifting him to a full-time point guard role this season, writes Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. “He’s got to embrace it, and I think he was a little nervous about it … because it was so new to him,” Popovich said. “And I don’t think he understood, or maybe I didn’t do a good enough job of relaying to him, all the responsibilities therein.” As a rookie out of Baylor in 2022/23, the 6’9″ Sochan had served as San Antonio’s starting power forward.

Mavs Notes: Doncic, Preseason, Holmes, Powell, THJ

Ahead of the Mavericks‘ exhibition game against Real Madrid on Tuesday, the team told Bally Sports Southwest that Luka Doncic would be limited to about five minutes of playing time due to a left calf strain. According to Marc Stein (Twitter link), Doncic “desperately” wanted to play more than that against his old team in Spain, but the Mavs opted to be “ultra-cautious” with its franchise player.

After the game, Dallas’ third consecutive preseason loss, Doncic told reporters that the injury is “nothing serious.” Still, as Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News writes, the Mavs are returning home from their three-game trip to Abu Dhabi and Spain with more questions than answers — due to Doncic’s calf injury and a groin strain for Kyrie Irving, the team hasn’t gotten to see its star backcourt play together much and hasn’t been able to assess how its new role players fit alongside Luka and Kyrie.

The Mavericks have more than a week off before they play their final preseason game on October 20, so the hope is that they’ll have a healthier roster by that point and will be able to get a longer look at their lineup before the regular season tips off.

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • Because the Mavericks were permitted to start training camp three days early due to their international trip, they’ll be required to have three non-practice days upon returning to Dallas on Thursday, Dwain Price writes at While players can complete individual workouts, the team won’t have a full practice again until Monday.
  • Richaun Holmes ended up with the Mavericks this offseason as part of a salary-dump trade that sent a first-round pick along with him from Sacramento to Dallas. However, Holmes should get a chance to vie for rotation minutes and he’s looking forward to being part of a franchise he has long admired, according to Price. “I think this has always been a place or organization that I’ve loved since I was a basketball fan coming up,” Holmes said. “So, to actually be here and see this place and see the Dirk (Nowitzki) statue outside, it’s truly amazing.”
  • Long-tenured Mavericks Dwight Powell and Tim Hardaway Jr. had great success as a three-man unit with Doncic last season, according to Tim Cato of The Athletic, who notes that lineups featuring that trio outscored opponents by 11 points per 100 possessions. Still, in order for Dallas to take its next step toward legitimate contention, the team will likely need to eventually find upgrades on Powell and Hardaway, as Cato details.

Texas Notes: Spurs, Payne, Kleber, Holmes

Following the addition of No. 1 draft pick Victor Wembanyama to their roster, the Spurs appear to be taking a long-term approach to their future, writes Mike Finger of The San Antonio Express-News.

Finger observes that president/head coach Gregg Popovich, general manager Brian Wright, and CEO R.C. Buford opted to not sign a top free agent into cap space or use their significant future draft equity to trade for a veteran star, instead hoping to develop their current youth around Wembanyama and make bigger moves in the future.

There’s more out of the Lone Star State:

  • Newly acquired Spurs point guard Cameron Payne may not be long for San Antonio, writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. McDonald notes that Payne and other new veteran personnel additions Reggie Bullock and Cedi Osman may eventually be offloaded by the team as it looks to build around Wembanyama.
  • Mavericks big man Maxi Kleber has opted out of playing for his native Germany in this summer’s FIBA World Cup, Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning writes. In withdrawing from the competition, Kleber noted that it was “100% clear that I am not unreservedly welcome,” which Townsend considers a direct response to comments made by Team Germany point guard Dennis Schröder. Schröder seemed to take umbrage with Kleber not participating in EuroBasket competition in 2022. “Maxi wasn’t there last year,” Schröder said. “If you didn’t commit — that was actually the message for all of us — then you won’t be there next year either.” 
  • New Mavericks big man Richaun Holmes has resolved the lawsuit he filed against the parent company of the Sacramento Bee, writes Sam Stanton of The Bee. Holmes sued McClatchy Co. and Bee columnist Robin Epley for defamation after an op-ed column from Epley detailed damaging accusations from Holmes’ ex-wife Alexis. “We’re pleased the matter has now been resolved and Mr. Holmes is enthusiastic about a new chapter in his life as a father and basketball player,” his attorney Camille Vasquez said in a statement. According to Stanton, McClatchy and The Bee did not make any payment to Holmes as part of the settlement.

Mavs Notes: Draft Picks, Bogdanovic, McGee, Centers

The Mavericksacquisition of Grant Williams in a three-team sign-and-trade agreement with Boston and San Antonio was initially reported on July 5, but wasn’t officially completed until a week later. According to Tim Cato of The Athletic, that delay was by design, as the three clubs agreed to keep the deal unofficial through Tuesday evening to give everyone a chance to explore expanding it further. No opportunities materialized, so the teams completed the trade as planned on Wednesday.

The Mavs were – and remain – willing to immediately flip the 2025 and 2028 second-rounders they acquired from San Antonio in order to further upgrade their roster, but they’ve been “incredibly cautious” about trading their own 2027 first-round pick, a team source tells Cato.

Because Dallas has already moved its 2029 first-rounder, it would be difficult to put any protections on its 2027 first-rounder due to the Stepien rule, which prohibits a team from leaving itself without a first-round selection in any two consecutive future drafts.

If the Mavs were to trade their 2027 pick, it would have to either be unprotected or turn into a second-rounder (or multiple second-rouders) if it were to fall into its protected range in ’27, since it couldn’t be rolled over to 2028. An unprotected pick would be an extremely valuable trade chip, whereas one that would become a second-rounder if not conveyed in 2027 would have more limited appeal to potential trade partners.

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • Confirming an ESPN report, Cato says that the Mavericks and Pistons recently revisited conversations about a possible Bojan Bogdanovic trade. League sources tell The Athletic that the two teams discussed a framework that would’ve sent Bogdanovic and Killian Hayes to Dallas, with Tim Hardaway Jr. and JaVale McGee going to Detroit. It’s unclear what level of draft compensation the Pistons would’ve been seeking in such a deal or how far discussions advanced, says Cato.
  • As previously suggested during Tim MacMahon’s Howdy Partners podcast (YouTube link), the Mavericks are considered likely to trade or waive McGee before the 2023/24 regular season begins, according to Cato.
  • Assuming McGee is moved or let go, the Mavericks’ centers would be Richaun Holmes, Dwight Powell, and Dereck Lively. The team could still trade for another big man, but would be content to open the season with that trio, according to Cato. While Powell would be the favorite to start, Mavs staffers are optimistic about Holmes’ bounce-back potential, believing that he’ll be a better fit in the team’s “guard-based schemes” than he was in a Sacramento system centered around Domantas Sabonis, Cato adds.