The Hawks have waived the retiring Jason Richardson, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). The move took place Friday, according to Pincus, though the team made no formal announcement. Atlanta signed the 34-year-old swingman last month, so even though he walked away before the start of training camp, the release still had to take place. He was on a one-year contract for the minimum salary without any guaranteed money, so the Hawks aren’t on the hook for any money.
Richardson said in December that “retirement is three or four years away from now,” but knee trouble and an aversion to making simply a token appearance on a roster evidently led to a change of heart. The fifth overall pick in the 2001 draft was much more than roster filler for much of his career, but that wasn’t the case for the majority of his tenure with the Sixers, who acquired him in 2012 as part of the Dwight Howard trade. He made his return to the court last season after missing more than two years because of injuries and appeared in 19 games, averaging career lows in points and minutes per game as well as field goal percentage.
It was in stark contrast to the high-flying scoring force he was for much of his career. Richardson topped 20 points per game three times, including his best scoring average of 23.2 PPG in 2005/06 with the Warriors, his original team. He went on to play with the Bobcats, Suns and Magic before finishing up in Philadelphia. Thanks to the more than $6.6MM he made this past season, the Jim Tanner client topped $100MM in career earnings across his 14 seasons in the league, totaling about $105.356MM, according to Basketball-Reference. His Hawks salary would have been the lowest of his career.
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