The Heat should try to get Josh Richardson to sign an extension as soon as possible, contends Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. After two NBA seasons, the former second-round pick is eligible for an extension up to four years and $42MM that would take effect with the 2018/19 season. Even at the full price, Richardson’s starting salary that year will be $9.4MM, which could be a bargain for someone who has been a contributor when he’s been healthy.
The deadline for an extension doesn’t come until June 30th, and Winderman thinks Richardson might be wise to wait. If there’s no agreement, he will become a restricted free agent in July, with the Heat having the right to match any offer. The team will also have full Bird Rights, which would eliminate the possibility of a backloaded contract like the one the Nets offered Tyler Johnson. Winderman also notes that Miami will send two of its next four first-rounders to Phoenix in the Goran Dragic trade, so it can’t afford to lose a young talent like Richardson.
There’s more from the Southeast Division:
- With their current cap status, the Heat have little reason to try to move Johnson’s contract before it balloons in 2018/19, Winderman adds in a question-and-answer column. Johnson will make close to $5.9MM for the upcoming season, then nearly $19.25MM in each of the next two years. It’s a provision that Brooklyn threw into its offer sheet in an attempt to discourage the Heat from matching, and it was eliminated in the new collective-bargaining agreement. Winderman states that if Miami is successful with its current mix of players, the team will continue to operate over the cap and Johnson’s escalation won’t really matter.
- With a supermax contract in hand, Wizards star John Wall has outlined several goals for the rest of his career, relays Chase Hughes of CSNMidAtlantic. At a press conference Friday to officially announce the new deal, Wall said he wants to win a championship in Washington and become the fifth player in franchise history to have his number retired. “We definitely have a lot of unfinished business,” Wall told reporters. “I want to bring a championship here, so we’re going to keep striving to get that. I’m not going to stop until we get there. That’s why I wanted to come back to this city.”
- The Hawks are adopting a radical approach as they take over the G League franchise in Erie, Pa., writes Chris Reichert of 2 Ways and 10 Days. Instead of finding people with G League experience to run the team, they appointed Malik Rose as general manager and last week hired longtime NBA assistant Josh Longstaff as the head coach. Because Orlando pulled its G-League team out of Erie and took its returning player rights, the Bayhawks will be part of the expansion draft August 23rd.