Heat swingman Josh Richardson hasn’t expressed any dissatisfaction or requested a trade like Jimmy Butler has in Minnesota, but he has still been the subject of several trade rumors this fall since he’s viewed as the potential centerpiece of a Miami trade for Butler. Speaking to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel, Richardson acknowledged that the NBA is a “cutthroat business” but added that he’s trying not to let the speculation affect him.
“For like the first hour, I was hearing from everyone,” Richardson said, referring to when his name first came up in the Butler rumors. “But after that, it is what it is. I don’t get too much into it. When it first came out a little bit, yeah, it was hard to ignore.”
Richardson, who added that the trade chatter was “a distraction at first,” hasn’t demonstrated any signs of being bothered by those rumors during his first two games of the 2018/19 season. The 25-year-old has poured in 24.5 PPG to go along with 4.5 RPG and 4.0 APG so far, showing exactly why the Timberwolves insisted on including him in a potential deal for Butler.
Minnesota’s Butler trade talks are “mostly dormant” at the moment, and multiple reports have suggested that Heat president Pat Riley told his players before the season that he has pulled the plug on Miami’s involvement in those discussions — at least for now. With Butler still expected to be moved by the February trade deadline, Richardson isn’t totally safe in South Beach yet, but for the time being, he’s welcoming his increased role in the Heat’s offensive attack.
“I pretty much embrace it now,” Richardson said of being Miami’s leading man on offense, per Winderman. “I had a whole summer of it and at times it was like that last year. So I’m pretty much used to it.”